Gurugram, March 28 (IANS) Golfers Shubhankar Sharma and Rahil Gangjee were the two bright spots for India on Day One of the Indian Open at the DLF Golf & Country Club here on Thursday.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Shubhankar came up with a solid three-under-69 to occupy the tied seventh position, two off the lead, while Gangjee fired a steady two-under-70 to be tied 16th at the $1.75 million event.
The lead was jointly held by Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and Julian Suri of the US at five-under-67.
Shubhankar, a 10th tee starter, made an early gain with a long birdie conversion on the 12th. The 22-year-old, who was in good putting form through the day, then made two consecutive birdies on the 18th and first, the latter being another long conversion from 15 feet, to take his score to three-under.
Two-time European Tour winner Shubhankar’s excellent approach shot on the par-5 fourth landed six feet from the pin, thus setting up an eagle for him.
The Chandigarh-based golfer was in the joint lead at five-under through 14 holes before he hit a rough patch on the sixth and seventh. He found the bunker on the sixth and seventh and thus dropped successive bogeys to close the day with a three-under.
Gangjee mixed three birdies with a bogey during his round of 70.
The other Indians who got off to a decent start were Om Prakash Chouhan (71) at tied 28th and Gaganjeet Bhullar (72) and Rashid Khan (72) at tied 46th.
Among the other prominent Indian names, Shiv Kapur (74) and two-time Indian Open champion SSP Chawrasia (74) were both tied 76th while another former winner Anirban Lahiri (77) was tied 107th.