Vastavam web: Spectacular with his driving skills, Ajeetesh Sandhu emerged the best Indian golfer with a solid four-under 68 as most of his compatriots endured a frustrating opening round at the Hero Indian Open on a tricky DLF Golf course, here today.The 29-year-old, who had won his maiden Asian Tour event last year at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship before clinching the Taiheiyo Club Challenge Tournament in Japan Tour, stayed three strokes adrift off leader Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, who scored seven-under 65.Former champion Arjun Atwal was one-under 71, while Udayan Mane (two-under at 16th hole), and amateur Kshitij Naveed Kaul (two-under at 17th hole) were the other Indians out of the 39 in the field to be under-par.
Two-time defending champion SSP Chawrasia (74), 2015 winner Anirban Lahiri (72), and former Indian champions Jyoti Randhawa (72) and Feroz Ali (one over at 14th hole) had a tough day in office.”I almost had to play perfect golf out there. It s a very difficult golf course. I m very happy with the way I handled myself out there. It was very tough and I was able to make some good putts and hit the fairways when I needed to,” Grillo said.
“As I say I had to play almost perfect golf. I putted very well. I had, I think, 26 putts and that helps anyone s round out there. Hopefully I can keep rolling them in. I ve just got to keep the ball in play, that s what matters around here.”Pablo Larrazabal barely made it to the course on time after waking up 38 minutes before tee-time but yet he managed a five-under 67 to share the second spot with Adrien Saddier, Keith Horne, Paul Petersen and Matteo Manassero.Among others, veteran Jeev Milkha Singh went eight-over and is likely to miss the cut.
Sandhu was very precise as he fired five birdies against a bogey to return with a solid round.”You can’t overpower the course, I hit amazing today. I hit 17 greens and didn’t miss a single fairway. The green that I missed was just by a foot, so it was phenomenal,” said Sandhu.”I didn t start the event the way I would ve liked to. Nonetheless, I m happy with my comeback on the front-nine and the way I finished the round. My ball-striking was good through the day,” Shubhankar said.
“There s a lot to learn from today s round. I ll look to make amends tomorrow after taking a lot of positives from the front-nine today. I was just a little tired because of the jetlag but it didn t affect my game. I hit almost all fairways on the front-nine today.”