Dhaka, February 27, 2017: Kolkata’s Md Sanju shot his best score of the last two seasons, a five-under-67, to take the lead in round one of the bti Open 2017 on a day that saw Indians dominate the leaderboard at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) in Dhaka.
Rookie Jaibir Singh of Bengaluru was a shot behind in second place while Delhi’s Rashid Khan and Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi shared third place with Sri Lankan Mithun Perera at three-under-69.
Md Sanju, who finished the last PGTI season ranked 55th in the Order of Merit, was two-under through the first seven holes before he produced his two best shots of the day that led to tap-in birdies on the 10th and 11th. He did give away a bogey on the 16th but not without capitalizing on the two par-5s on the back-nine, the 14th and 17th.
The 34-year-old Sanju said, “I’m quite excited about the week after this solid start. A couple of outstanding approach shots on the 10thand 11th were the highlight of my round as they set up two easy birdie putts. My score could’ve been even better had I not missed three short putts from a range of three feet.
“I didn’t have a great season last year despite finishing inside the top-60. I also missed the cuts in the first two events of the 2017 season. So this round, my best in the last two years, is a huge morale-booster.
“The KGC course is in great condition and I’ve always enjoyed playing here. I had posted a top-20 last year at the bti Open. The key will be to improve on my putting from short range from here on.”
Jaibir Singh, playing only his third event as a professional, also enjoyed a good start as he returned a 68 which featured seven birdies and three bogeys.
Indian stars Rashid Khan and Khalin Joshi as well as Sri Lanka’s top golfer Mithun Perera started well with matching scores of 69 to be tied third.
Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta, Naman Dawar of Delhi and Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane were all placed tied sixth at two-under-70.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, Rabin Miah and Md Dulal Hossain were the highest placed Bangladeshi golfers in tied ninth with scores of one-under-71.
PGTI Order of Merit leader Ajeetesh Sandhu of Chandigarh, also the winner of the last event in Hyderabad, was in tied 17th place at even-par-72.