Grillo in lead; Sandhu best home golfer at Indian Open

File Photo : Ajjetesh Sandhu
IANS|08-Mar-2018 21:19

Gurugram, March 8 : Argentine golfer Emiliano Grillo carded seven-under 65 to take the lead, while Ajjetesh Sandhu turned out to be India's best with a 68 to be tied seventh in the opening round of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open here on Thursday.

After a birdie and a bogey at his opening two holes, one-time PGA Tour winner Grillo racked up seven birdies before signing for a 65, which ties the course record at the Gary Player layout of the DLF Golf and Country Club.

"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," he said.

"I shot seven-under-par, but I think anywhere else it would have been close to a 59. It was definitely a magnificent round of golf. Every tee shot, every second shot, you don't want to miss it in the wrong place."

The World No.76 currently leads by two shots against Paul Peterson of the United States, Italy's Matteo Manassero and Spain's Pablo Larrazabal. 

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The Spaniard took an estimated 13 minutes to get out of the bed and reach his tee at the DLF Golf and Country Club. Woken up by an European Tour official, he had what he called "a ten-second shower", making a mad dash to the course. "My lovely new iPhone went back to Spanish time overnight and I woke up at the hotel 38 minutes before my tee-time," he said.

Peterson, who won his first Asian Tour title in Myanmar this year, had a near flawless round, carding six birdies against a lone bogey.

Sandhu scored four birdies against a bogey on the 14th to share the seventh spot with Scotland's Marc Warren.

Adrien Saddier and Keith Horne were at five-under till the 17 and 16 holes respectively when the play was suspended due to darkness. A total of 24 golfers have not completed the opening rounds.

Nne players share ninth place, including Asian Tour players Nicholas Fung of Malaysia and Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.

Among the Indians, Udayan Mane and Neveed Kshitiji Kaul were tied 19th with a two-under score after 16 holes each.

Veteran Arjun Atwal was tied 26th with a 71, while Khalin Joshi, Jyoti Randhawa, Aman Raj Honey Baisoya and Anirban Lahiri shared the 37th spot on even-par 72.

One shot behind them was Shubhankar Sharma. Defending champion S.S.P. Chawrasia got two-over 74 to be tied 73rd.