January 14, 2009 11:46:33 pm
Hovering around the 60th spot on the Order of Merit as the season nears its end can lead to contrasting emotions. Arjun Singh Chaudhri has seen both sides of the coin. Last season,he finished his year in the 56th spot,just about managing to stumble over to safety for the coming one.
This PGTI season,he stayed painfully short: the 66th position meaning he has been forced to start his new season earlier than most others. The Noida professional,though,has begun it on the right note.
On a fog-affected day when tee off times at the Golden Greens club were changed around and even then not all of the 123 players in the field could finish their rounds,the 29-year-old made sure he was in the clubhouse with a satisfying first day at the PGTI Qualifying School. Chaudhri,joined by Nepalese player Shiv Ram Shrestha,shot a two-under 70 to lead the pack on Day One. Pravin Pathare,Ramesh Kumar,Sheeraz Kalra and Amit Dube are tied third,with rounds of one-under 71 each.
A delayed start due to fog in the morning resulted in only 63 players being able complete their respective first rounds on Tuesday. The remaining 60 players will have to start early on Wednesday,before the second round begins.
Chaudhri started strong,with three birdies in five holes,though there was a blip on the par-four fourth. He bogeyed the eighth,then picked up a shot rightaway,making the turn at two-under. He was one-over for his back nine when he stepped onto the 18th tee box,but birdied that to finish two-under for the round. Shrestha was one-over when he made the turn,having started on the 10th hole,but finished with three birdies on his return journey.
Kalra had a colourful round. He sank two eagles,on the second and the 14th holes,but he also double bogeyed the 11th,apart from two birdies and three bogeys. Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja is among the 60 golfers who could not complete round one on Tuesday.
Leaderboard (incomplete 1st round): 1 Arjun Singh Chaudhri,Shiva Ram Shrestha -2 (70) 3 Pravin J Pathare,Ramesh Kumar,Sheeraz Kalra,Amit Dube -1 (71) 7 Dayal Singh,Derushan Nair Par (72) 9 Sudhir Sharma,Arshpreet Thind,Shahid +1 (73).
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