Mewat (Haryana): The Delhi duo of Shamim Khan and Rashid Khan fired an identical six-under 66 to grab the joint lead after the opening round of the PGTI Players Championship at the Classic Golf Resort here today.
Gaurav Ghei (67), another Delhi golfer, is a stroke behind the joint leaders in third place. He fired six birdies and a bogey in the opening round.
Shamim, who had a bogey-free round, made a terrific start with birdies on the first two holes as he landed his shots within six feet of the pin.
The 2012 Rolex Rankings champion collected four more birdies on the back-nine. He sank a 30-footer for birdie on the 11th and drained birdie putts from 12 feet and 15 feet on the 12th and 15th holes respectively.
Shamim said, "I sank all putts today and was particularly sharp on the back-nine with three long birdie putts. The good start was crucial as it set up the round for me. I also made a good recovery for par from the fairway bunker on the seventh.
"I changed my driver last week and the change seems to have helped my game. I ended last year on a high and am looking to continue from there in order to make an impact on the PGTI this year as well."
Rashid made an incredible eight birdies against two bogeys today. His front-nine featured birdie putts from 15, 12 and 10 feet on the first, fifth and sixth respectively. He bogeyed the 10th but then had an amazing run of four straight birdies from the 13th to the 16th.
Rashid rolled in a 15 feet putt on the 13th and a 30-footer on the 15th. The 22-year-old finished with bogey-birdie on the last two holes.
"It`s been a perfect start to the week. I hit 15 greens in regulation and made three birdie putts from a range of 15 to 30 feet. I was a little unlucky on the 17th where my shot landed on the lip of the bunker and resulted in a bogey. I just changed my irons before this tournament and that seems to be working for me," said Rashid.
Mukesh Kumar, Chiragh Kumar and Mandeo Singh Pathania were tied fourth at four-under 68.