Gangjee best Indian at ninth with a four-under 68

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Three birdies in the first five holes saw Rahil Gangjee off to a flyer and he ended the day in four-under 68 to be placed tied ninth on the truncated first day of the co-sanctioned Maybank Malaysian Open golf Thursday.

Gangjee, who was within striking distance of winning the Avantha Masters last month before crumbling at the end, was the best of the 10 Indians in the fray.

Gangjee was three shots of joint leaders Spaniard Ignacio Garrido and Welshman Rhys Davies, who shot 65 each in the event sanctioned by European and Asian Tours.

Of the other Indians, Digvijay Singh and S.S.P. Chowrasia, a full member of the European Tour, shot three-under 69 each to be tied 16th.

Gaganjeet Bhullar and twice Malaysian Open champions Arjun Atwal carded 72 each to be 48th, while Himmat Rai was also even but with two holes to play. C. Muniyappa carded a 73 while Shiv Kapur was one-over but had one more hole to play.

Anirban Lahiri went to 75, after being six-over at one time, and Jyoti Randhawa finished the day at 77.

Gangjee said, “I’m very happy with my score. But it was really hot today. I got off to a really good start on the front nine (3-under) and that really got me comfortable. Its not like I was thinking about the score but it is really nice to play when you are comfortable.

“It was just pure pressure (at the Avantha Masters in India). I have been in contention on two occasions (at the Kings Cup in Thailand last year) and need to start adapting to this type of situations.

“I have been trying to put more pressure on myself by having a few matches with Chowrasia back home in India. It was fun and he put me in a lot of pressure situations. It was a one-on-one between us but we played it in stroke play format. It was really good preparation for me, ” he said.

Thongchai Jaidee, the Asia No.1, shot a 66 and was tied third with Kim Dae Hyun. K.J. Choi shot a 67 and was among those tied fifth.

Ever-improving Welsh ace Rhys Davies carded a bogey free seven under-par 65 to share a one shot lead with Spain’s Ignacio Garrido before play was suspended for the day at the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Davies and Garrido posted matching seven-under-par 65s while Thongchai, a two-time Malaysian Open winner, stayed in touch with the leaders with a 66 that was matched by Koreas Kim Dae-hyun at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Filed under: Golf

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