Karandeep Kochhar off to flying start with a 66, enjoys day one lead

Kolkata, Dec 14 (PTI) Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh got off to a flying start with a six-under 66 for the day one lead at the TATA Steel PGTI’s inaugural SSP Chawrasia Invitational golf tournament here on Wednesday.

Abhinav Lohan of Gurugram shot a 67 to occupy second place in the Rs 1 crore prize money event, being played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

Gaganjeet Bhullar fired a 69 to be tied eighth along with Manu Gandas, who is currently placed second in the TATA Steel PGTI Rankings.

TATA Steel PGTI Rankings leader Yuvraj Singh Sandhu was a further shot behind in tied 12th position.

Tournament host SSP Chawrasia, Anirban Lahiri and Ajeetesh Sandhu were tied 19th with matching scores of 71. Shankar Das too shot a 71 to be the highest-placed among the Kolkata golfers along with Chawrasia.

Kochhar didn’t look out of sorts despite returning to play at the RCGC after a long gap of five years. The 23-year-old four-time winner on the PGTI had an initial stutter when he bogeyed the 11th but got on a roll after his 30-feet birdie conversion on the 13th.

Among Kochhar’s six other birdies were two 15-feet conversions. Kochhar, currently fifth on the PGTI’s money list, also picked up shots on both the par-5s, 15th and fourth.

“I am carrying the momentum after having played well in Asia to lock my card for next season. That was in fact my biggest goal this year,” Kochhar said.

“I got going on the 13th where I holed a long putt on probably one of the toughest holes here at the RCGC. The birdie on the 13th kickstarted my round. The putter was also cooperative today and I hit the ball good, not leaving myself too many tough putts for pars.” Abhinav Lohan got off to a slow start with bogeys on his first two holes, the 10th and 11th, but came roaring back with three birdies and an eagle on the next four holes.

Lohan’s accurate approach shot left him a tap-in birdie on the 14th while he drained a 40-footer for eagle on the 15th. Lohan added three more birdies and a bogey on the back-nine.

Source: PTI News


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