Chandigarh golf open: Khalin, Arjun, Michele take joint lead on Day 1 : The Tribune India

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Chandigarh golf open: Khalin, Arjun, Michele take joint lead on Day 1

Chandigarh golf open: Khalin, Arjun, Michele take joint lead on Day 1

Karandeep Kochhar and Harjai Milkha Singh in action during the Chandigarh Golf Open at the CGC greens on Wednesday. Tribune photos: Ravi Kumar



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 3

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi, Delhi-based Arjun Prasad and Italian rookie Michele Ortolani shot sizzling rounds of 8-under 64 to grab the joint lead on the opening day of the Rs 1 crore Chandigarh Golf Open at Chandigarh Golf Club.

Local favourite Karandeep Kochhar was a shot behind at fourth place. The other tricity players in the top-10 were Ajeetesh Sandhu and Angad Cheema (tied-5th at 66) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (tied-8th at 67).

Indian golf legend Jeev Milkha Singh struck a 69 to be tied 20th. His 14-year-old son Harjai Milkha Singh, playing as an amateur, made an impressive start with a 1-under 71 to be tied-41st.

A flawless round

Khalin’s flawless effort included two long birdie conversions and some great wedge shots on the back-nine that produced an eagle on the 16th and two more birdies on the 13th and 17th. While Khalin, an international winner, shot it from 60 yards for eagle on the 16th, he followed it up with another hole out on the 17th from 40 yards for a birdie.

“I had been working on my swing of late and this week, I moved back to my earlier swing, which worked well for me. I was also excellent with my wedges today. It wasn’t a day where I hit it really well off the tee but managed to keep it in play for the most part and that paid dividends,” said Khalin.

Michele, who is Khalin’s playing partner, had an eagle, nine birdies and three bogeys on his card. Michele sank an eagle and four birdies on his first six holes to set up the day for himself. “Starts like this don’t happen every day. So, I’m happy that I made the most of it. I was back home in Italy for three weeks since I was not eligible to play the last three joint sanctioned events on the PGTI. As a result, I was eager and motivated to get back on the PGTI. As Khalin and I were playing in the same group, I felt our positive energy rubbed off on each other,” added the rookie.

Arjun too made an eagle on day one like his co-leaders Joshi and Ortolani. He also posted eight birdies and two bogeys.

Kochhar best local contender

Local contender Karandeep Kochhar remained a shot behind in fourth place with a score of 7-under 65. “It’s a good start and I am expecting to take up pace in the Round 2. The conditions here are perfect,” said Kochhar.

Teenager Harjai Milkha Singh made a solid start, firing three birdies against two bogeys. Harjai said, “I was a little nervous in the morning but settled down well after the first few holes. The standout moments of my round included landing my approach shot within a foot of the flag for birdie on the ninth and the 20-feet birdie conversion on the 17th. I’ll look to carry the confidence gained from this round into the next round.”

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