Young Indian talent was once again on full view as the second edition of the Take Solutions Masters was off to a grand start on Thursday. The 21-year-old Feroz Garewal, who shares the same coach as Shubhankar Sharma, was quick off the blocks with a brilliant five-under 66, that placed him Tied-second alongside a host of others even as a 49-year-old Thai veteran Thammanoon Sriroj turned the clock back with a stunning 9-under 62 at the Par-71 KGA Golf course.
Another young Indian shinning was local Khalin Joshi, who carded 4-under 67 to be T-seventh.
The 4-shot lead for Thammanoon held is the biggest on the Asian Tour this year as he began his quest for sixth Asian Tour title, 14 years after the fifth in China in 2004.
Garewal, who played the 2014 Asian Games for India in Incheon, shares the second place with Thai duo Danthai Boonma and Suradit Yongcharoenchai, Zimbabwean Scott Vincent and Argentine Miguel Carballo.
Feroze said, “I started with a couple of bad shots, missing fairways, but got lucky both times, as I made the up-and-down for pars. I made a couple of other good putts on the front nine, to get to 1-under for the first half.”
He added, “On the back nine, I went birdie-birdie-birdie and made some good putts and on the last I got lucky with a real long ones. Sometimes with long putts, you are not actually going for it, but lagging it to get close, but it falls, so I feel that’s a bit of luck.”
Garewal added, “I decided not to go the Asian Tour Q School this year. I decided to play lesser events and concentrate on the game. I have played a few tournaments on ADT, about 7-8 every year. This year I decided not to play and work on my game.”
There was also some good news coming from the Asian Games bound young amateurs, as two of the three playing here got off to a fine start.
Chandigarh lad, 17-year-old Aadil Bedi, who knows Shubhankar Sharma well, carded 3-under 68 to be Tied-14th while Harimohan Singh, also going to the Jakarta carded 2-under 69 to be Tied-24th. The third amateur, Rayhan Thomas had a disappointing day with 3-over 74.
Bedi in particular was impressive as he had five birdies against two bogeys while playing in the company of Chawrasia, who was impressed by the youngsters.
The players made good use of the soft conditions and preferred lies ruling. Accuracy was well rewarded and picking it up well was Thammanoon with a 62, that included five straight birdies as he started from the tenth.
Seven players including last year’s runner-up Joshi were Tied-7th at 4-under 67. Joshi’s exploits at his home club KGA include a 10-under card as an amateur in 2012, when he shot 10-under 62 when the layout was played as a Par-72.
Also Tied-7th were India’s Om Prakash Chouhan, Sri Lankan Anura Rohana, who has won an Indian Tour event at this course, Australians Jake McLeod, Maverick Antcliff and Thais, Arnond Vongvanij and Settee Parkongvech.
Thammanoon, who is using a new set of clubs, except for the putter and the sand wedge, said, “My tee shots were good today but my putting was even better. I made a lot of long putts today. I made my only bogey of the day on the seventh after hitting into the trees but bounced back with a good birdie on the eighth where I hit it to about a foot. I thought I hit it really close but my playing partner Mukesh Kumar hit it even closer.”
Other good scores from prominent names included six-time Asian Tour winner, SSP Chawrasia, who bounced back from 2-over to 2-under with four birdies on his back nine, M Dharma (3-under 68) and S Chikkarangappa (2-under 69). Veterans Jyoti Randhawa shot 1-under 70 and Jeev Milkha Singh returned 1-over 72.
About the Author
V Krishnaswamy is India's most widely travelled journalist. He has covered more than 20 Majors, Presidents Cup, EurAsia Cup and more than 120 international golf tournaments around the world. He has also covered seven Olympic Games, 8 Asian Games and 6 Commonwealth Games besides numerous World Championships in various sports.