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Golf is tougher,says Jadeja

Himmat Singh Rai shot five under 65 to take first day honours,but Ajay Jadeja was the centre of attraction.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
February 4, 2009 2:53:30 am

Former cricketer turns pro at Tolly Club,tied 12th after first round

Himmat Singh Rai shot five under 65 to take first day honours,but Ajay Jadeja was the centre of attraction.

The PGTI Players Championship teed off at the Tollygunge Club today and after first round,Rai has his nose in front. Jadeja,making his debut as a professional golfer,produced a round of one under 69 to be tied 12th along with Shamim Khan and Harendra Gupta.

The first shot notwithstanding,the ball went off the fairway,it was a decent performance.

As for the glamour quotient,the former India ODI captain overshadowed the likes of SSP Chowrasia. Lensmen followed his moves,TV crews were on their toes. At the end,Jadeja was smiling.

“When I was a cricketer,I thought it to be the only difficult sport. I thought only in cricket you are under pressure … But there’s lot more pressure here,” Jadeja said.

Drawing a parallel with cricket,he said: “There’s a lot of difference. In cricket,you have teammates to help you out when you are in trouble. But here,you are alone in the middle and there’s nobody you can turn to. You have to fight your way out.”

He was satisfied with the way he performed on his debut. “My first shot was behind a tree … It happens once in a lifetime to imagine a ball going off the fairway. But you have got to play from where it lies so I had to take the penalty shot and start again.

“But at the end of the day,I am happy with the progress of having finished with one-under. I have just started today.”

Coming back to Rai,the Delhi lad worked his way to the top of the leaderboard with the help of two eagles and two birdies at the par 70 course. He began on a promising note with a birdie on the first where he sank a 20 feet putt. However,he bogeyed the fifth to drop back to even par. After making the turn at even par,Rai hit a purple patch as he sank an eagle on the 10th,birdied the 12th and came up with another eagle on the 13th. He chipped-in from the edge of the green to birdie the 12th and made 10 feet putts for eagle on the two par five holes on the back nine — 10th and 13th.

“I had a solid round today. I hit it really well and did not miss too many putts. In fact,I hit the green in two strokes on the par five 10th and 13th. On both occasions,I set up 10 feet putts for eagle,” Rai said.

“I’ll be playing the par fives to a certain plan in round two and would like to consolidate on the par three holes,” he added.

Mukesh Kumar,a 10th tee starter on Tuesday,birdied the 10th,15th,18th,fourth,ninth and bogeyed the 17th and 2nd to be tied second at three under 67. Kolkata’s Nur Hossian Sardar fired five birdies (10th,15th,second,fifth,seventh) against two bogeys (first and fourth) to be tied second with an overall score of three under 67.

Mukesh Kumar,a 10th tee starter on Tuesday,birdied the 10th,15th,18th,fourth,ninth and bogeyed the 17th and second to be tied second at three under 67. Delhi’s Praduman Singh Guleria was also tied second at three under 67. He knocked in seven birdies in round one but at the same time dropped a couple of bogeys and a double bogey.

Kolkata-based professionals SSP Chowrasia and Feroz Ali Mollah were both tied sixth at two under 68. Vinod Kumar,Gurki Shergill,Sheeraz Kalra and Sandeep Syal share sixth place along with Chowrasia and Mollah. Rahul Ganapathy lies tied 22nd at even par 70.

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