Rudresh enjoys the early advantage with a 66

Digboi: Delhi`s Rudresh Sharma posted a five-under-66 to take the lead in round one of the IndianOil XtraPremium Masters Golf here today.

Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, Gurgaon`s Deepinder Singh Kullar, Jaipur`s Vishal Singh and Md Zamal Hossain of Bangladesh are in tied second place with matching scores of four-under-67 at Digboi Golf Links.

Heavy rain over the last few days resulted in the seventh hole being reduced from a par-5 to a par-4. Therefore, the par for the course in round one was 71 instead of the usual 72.

Rudresh`s round included seven birdies and two bogeys. He began with a bogey on the first but then reversed the trend by collecting birdies on the third, fifth, eighth and ninth to make the turn at three under. He chipped-in on the fifth and made a 30-footer on the eighth.

The 23-year-old from the Delhi Golf Club sank birdies on the 11th, 13th and 16th as well before dropping a stroke on the 17th against the run of play.

"This is a fantastic start to the tournament for me. I hit it close all day and putted really well. My best effort of the day was the 30-feet birdie putt from the edge of the green on the eighth. That really got me going. It`s now important for me to keep my focus and continue playing in this fashion over the next three days," Rudresh said after his round.

Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, a five-time winner at Digboi, made an eagle, three birdies and a bogey in his round of 67 that placed him joint second. Like Mukesh, Md Zamal Hossain Mollah too made an eagle, three birdies and a bogey to be placed tied second.

Deepinder Singh Kullar and Vishal Singh had five birdies and a bogey each in their respective rounds as they shared second place with Mukesh and Zamal.

Delhi`s Shamim Khan and Chandigarh?s Harendra Gupta were in tied sixth at two-under-69.