Sandhu tied 10th after first round in Cambodian Open

Siem Reap (Cambodia): Ajeetesh Sandhu, playing in only his third professional event outside India, carded a fine three-under 69 with four birdies and one bogey to finish the first day at the inaugural Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic in tied 10th place here.

He was the best-placed Indian on the day.

The only other Indian to shoot an under-par round came from veteran Feroze Ali (71), who played steady with one bogey on the first and two other birdies. The other Indians disappointed with Shiv Kapur (74) in tied 84th place, Himmat Rai (75) in 91st place and Sujjan Singh (78) in tied 126th place.

Sandhu, who was third at the SAIL Open in 2011 for his best finish on Asian Tour, was three shots behind Korea`s Baek Seuk-hyun who established a new course record of six-under-par 66 to open up a one-shot lead after the opening round.

Sandhu, 23, is playing on the Asian Tour on a country exemption and in his two previous attempts in events outside India, he made cut in one at Myanmar and missed it in the other in the Philippines.

The talented 21-year-old Korean produced matching halves of 33s in the USD 300,000 Asian Tour event at the impressive Angkor Golf Resort.

Ireland`s Niall Turner overcame a double bogey to card a fine 67 while Thailand`s 16-year-old newcomer Rattanon Wannasrichan showed he was a star in the making with a bogey-free 68 to be bunched with countrymen Chawalit Plaphol and Atthaphon Prathummanee, Filipino Elmer Salvador, Australian Paul Donahoo, Korea`s Kim Hyung-sung and American Berry Henson.

Among prominent names falling back was Prom Meesawat (70) in tied 20th place.