Other Sports

Indian Open Golf 2024: Aman Raj, Om Prakash Chouhan, Karandeep Kochhar In Top 15

The day belonged to Netherland's Joost Luiten, Italy's Matteo Manassero and the talented Keita Nakajima from Japan -- all three turning in sensational seven-under 65 to grab the top spot after the opening day at the DLF Golf and Country Club

X (DP World Tour)
A general view of the DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurugram. Photo: X (DP World Tour)
info_icon

Aman Raj, Om Prakash Chouhan and Karandeep Kochhar produced matching cards of four-under 68 in the opening round to share tied 14th place at the Hero Indian Open in Gurugram on Thursday. (More Golf News)

Star Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri, who is struggling to keep his Paris Olympic hopes alive, had a forgettable homecoming as he was five-over 77 and will need a dramatic second round to hang around for the weekend action.

Shubhankar Sharma, the top-ranked Indian began with a bogey, but braving a cold and slight body ache, he finished two-under 70 and was T-34, as was Gaganjeet Bhullar.

Sharma and Bhullar are the front runners to make the Paris Olympics cut from India.

The day belonged to Netherland's Joost Luiten, Italy's Matteo Manassero and the talented Keita Nakajima from Japan -- all three turning in sensational seven-under 65 to grab the top spot after the opening day at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Luiten, a six-time winner on the DP World Tour, who has been winless on the tour since 2018, shared the lead with the incredible young talent from Japan, Keita Nakajima and Matteo Manassero from Netherlands, another former World No. 1 amateur in 2009.

Nakajima has spent a record 87 weeks as the World’s No. 1 amateur before turning pro in 2022 and winning three more times and emerging as No 1 in Japan Tour – an achievement that earned him a card into the DP World Tour.

Manassero, on the other hand, by 2012 had become the first teenager to win three times in Europe. Then he did not win till earlier this month. His bogey-free 65 indicated the resurgence continues.

India’s Chouhan, who came onto the DP World Tour as the winner of the PGTI Order of merit, carded three birdies on either side of the turn but he was also guilty of dropping two shots at 14th and 18th.

"My entire focus is on doing well this time because if I do well, I will have a good chance to improve my ranking and save my card for the next season," Chouhan said.

"At this event, I have missed the cut always. Today I was just focussing on my normal game and not play attacking golf."

Aman Raj, who has his friend and fellow pro Arjun Prasad on the bag this week, carded five birdies against one bogey.

"Even if I leave the score aside, I'm just really happy with the way I was playing, some very stable golf. You know, all in all, tee shots were on point, gave myself a lot of chances," he said.

"I was just very glad that I'm giving myself chances, hitting fairways, putting it on the green, giving myself those 15-20 footers and making the up and downs for par as well."

Shubhankar, who was leading at one stage at the Porsche Singapore Classic before finishing tied 7th last week, had three birdies and a bogey in his card.

"It was a very consistent round overall. I didn’t make many mistakes, the places that I did make mistakes on 18 and probably on 8 where I had chip outs. I made good pars," Sharma said.

"Except for that one bogey on the very first hole of the day which was the 10th where I three-putted. But it was a good round overall.

"Gave myself so many opportunities and I could have easily been a 6-7 under. It was 2 but I'm really happy that I stuck in there, played really well to the end.”

Lahiri, a former winner in 2015, however, had very few moments of joy barring the birdies on the 13th, his fourth hole of the day, and the ninth, which was his closing hole. He was T-127 and staring at an early exit.

As three players shared the lead at 65, three others Jordan Smith (England), Sam Bairstow (England) and Romain Langasque (France) carded 66 each to be tied fourth.

Seven others shot 5-under 67.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement