Rashid Khan has returned to form after a couple of missed cuts as he shot six-under 65 to take a share of the first-round lead at the USD 500,000 Queens Cup here today. Also showing good form, particularly on the back nine was SSP Chawrasia, who is currently second on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
Chawrasia, even for the front nine, with one each of birdie and bogey, had four birdies against no bogeys on the back nine for a 67 that put him in tied-eighth place at the event, backed by Bangkok Airways and Sports Authority of Thailand.
The other Indians are Rahil Gangjee (69) in tied-23, Jeev Milkha Singh and Shiv Kapur at tied-44 with cards of 70 each. Sujjan (70) at tied-60, Chiragh Kumar (72) at tied-72, Arjun Prasad (73) at tied-88, Shubhankar Sharma (75) at tied-112 and S Chikkarangappa (76) at tied-121.
Rashid, winner of two Asian Tour titles, fired eight birdies against two bogeys, one each on either side of the turn and also four birdies on either side.
The ageless Thai veteran star Prayad Marksaeng brilliantly launched his quest for an unprecedented third Queen’s Cup title with a solid six-under-par 65 that was matched by rookie Chanat Sakulpolphaisan, Filipino Angelo Que, besides Rashid.
Prayad, who won his 10th Asian Tour win eight days before his 51st birthday at the SMBC Singapore Open in January, soared with an eagle on the 12th hole along with five other birdies.
Countryman Chanat was equally impressive, with the 26-year-old shooting eight birdies against two bogeys while Que nailed six birdies over his last seven holes to give himself a shot for a fourth career win.
Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka, Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao shared fifth place on 66 while Chawrasia is amongst those bunched on 67.