Assam: Defending champion Yuvraj Singh Sandhu of Chandigarh was on fire in round one of the IndianOil SERVO Masters 2022 as he struck a scintillating nine-under 63 to take the early lead at the Digboi Golf Links.
Sri Lankan Anura Rohana, who made two chip-ins on day one, returned an eight-under 64 to be placed second at the Rs. 75 lakh event.
Delhi’s Kshitij Naveed Kaul was third at 65 while Greater Noida’s Arjun Sharma was a further shot back in fourth.
Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, the 2022 PGTI Order of Merit leader and a winner of four titles this season, had a whirlwind start with three birdies on the first four holes. A bogey and birdie on the fifth and ninth respectively meant that he made the turn at three-under.
The 25-year-old Sandhu’s birdie on the 11th got him back in the groove as he picked up five more birdies thereafter landing it close to the pin consistently. He drove the par-4 14th green to set up a two-putt birdie there.
Yuvraj said, “I’m feeling a little nostalgic coming back to the venue where I won my first PGTI event last year. I’m playing on those good memories. This year the weather is even better and that makes the playing experience here at Digboi that much more special.
“The stretch of birdies from the 11th onwards was the highlight today. After a good start, I had a quiet few holes but then on the back-nine I kept telling myself to hit maximum greens in regulation. With that thought I started hitting the ball really close and got on a birdie run.
“I had a total of 16 greens in regulation today and thanks to my good ball-striking the longest putt I made was 15 feet.”
Anura Rohana mixed an eagle and seven birdies with a bogey to end the day in second position. Rohana chipped-in for birdies on the first and sixth. He made a 10-feet eagle conversion on the seventh.
Anura said, “My game within 100 yards, excellent chipping and bunker shots were the reasons for my good score today. I also read the greens really well. It’s an important week for me as I’m currently outside the top-60 of the Order of Merit and need to make a move up to retain my card. I hope to make the most of this good start.”
Rohan Dhole Patil of Pune began the week with a hole-in-one on the 10th. He put together a 67 to be placed tied fifth along with Kolkata’s Divyanshu Bajaj.
Among the prominent names, Khalin Joshi shot a 69 to be tied 13th while Udayan Mane and Manu Gandas carded 70s to be tied 19th.
Among the local professionals, Deven Bhumij was tied 32nd at 71 while Dulal Kalowar and Deepraj Chetia were both tied 44th at 72.