Kolkata, March 21 (IANS) Star attraction and current Indian Open champion SSP Chawrasia made a steady start with a one-under-71 to lie tied 18th while former PGTI Order of Merit winners S. Chikkarangappa and Chiragh Kumar took the joint lead with matching scores of four-under-68 after the first round of the Kolkata Classic golf championship here on Tuesday.
While Bengaluru-based Chikka regained his putting form at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) on Tuesday, Delhi’s Kumar continued to impress following a creditable top-25 finish at the recently concluded Indian Open.
The Mhow-based duo of Mukesh Kumar and Om Prakash Chouhan, Chandigarh’s Feroz Singh Garewal and Delhi’s Ikramuddin Shah huddled together in tied third at three-under-69.
Chikka started in style with three birdies on the first four holes but then endured a dip from the fifth to the eighth, dropping four consecutive bogeys as a result of some erratic hitting.
After being level-par through 14 holes, the 23-year-old produced a final flourish which began with a 75-feet eagle conversion on the 15th.
He signed off with two more long birdie conversions on the 17th and 18th.
“I think I’ve putted so well after almost a year. I missed some short ones on the front-nine but it was a different story on the back-nine where I kept draining it from long range,” Chikka, who mixed an eagle and seven birdies with five bogeys, said.
Kumar continued the rich vein of form with a solid start here.
One-over through the front-nine, Kumar roared back his round with a 45-feet birdie conversion on the 10th.
From there on, he went on to add an eagle and three birdies at the cost of just one bogey.
Chawrasia, the cynosure of all eyes, sank three birdies against two bogeys on the first day of the four-day meet.
“An under-par round here at RCGC is always a good start. There’s a lot of golf yet to be played this week and being three off the lead in round one is not too bad,” the four-time European Tour winner later stated.
Kolkata-based rookie Viraj Madappa, playing his first professional event in his home town, shot a 79 to be placed tied 101st.