Dhaka: Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar grabbed the lead on the opening day of the American Express Bangladesh Open Professional Golf Championship with a classic
four-under 68 at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Bhullar`s compatriots Raju Ali Mollah and Keshav Kapoor are in tied second with matching scores of three-under 69.
Defending champion Md Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh is placed tied seventh at one-under 71.
A 10th tee starter, Bhullar made a lone birdie on his first nine and added four more on his second nine before dropping his only bogey of the day on the eighth.
The burly six-footer who hails from Kapurthala in Punjab, sank a monstrous birdie putt on the first and also drove the green with a 3-wood to set up a birdie on the par four fifth.
"I was very consistent with the putter today. The best putt of the day was a 20-footer for birdie on the first. I really like this course for its challenging layout and I think a score of four under in the opening round provides me with an ideal foundation for the coming rounds," he said.
"The course is in great shape and one has to watch out for the ninth hole where the tee shot has to be placed to perfection in order to get a good angle for the approach shot," he added.
Raju Ali Mollah of Kolkata made eight birdies against five bogeys to end day one in tied second place at three under 69.
Delhi`s Keshav Kapoor fired a bogey-free 69 to join Raju Ali Mollah in joint second place. Kapoor`s round included birdies on the 17th, fifth and eighth.
"I played some incredible sand wedge shots today. My putting was pretty decent as I made a total of 27 putts. The second nine in particular, was quite solid, since I hit all fairways and greens on that stretch. A score of three under makes for a fantastic opening round. The key would be to keep it in play during the rest of the week," said Keshav.
Delhi golfers Suleman Ali and Shamim Khan are placed tied fourth along with Kolkata`s Yusuf Ali at two under 70.
The Bangladesh quartet of Md Siddikur Rahman, Md Sayum, Md Milon Ahmmed and Md Zakiruzzaman ended the day in tied seventh at one under 71 along with Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka and India`s Vikrant Chopra.
Defending champion Md Siddikur Rahman made four birdies and three bogeys in his round.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah of Bangladesh, the 2009 Bangladesh Open champion, is currently in tied 23rd with a score of one over 73.
Chandigarh`s Ranjit Singh fired a hole-in-one on the 173-yard eighth hole. His six iron tee shot landed five feet short of the hole and rolled in.