Canada’s Anil pockets gross title on opening day

Buoyed by his superb putting, Anil Sharma of Canada shot a score of two-over-par 74 to claim the title in the gross category on Day One of the Chandigarh Golfing tour, which started on Friday. On a day when 88 NRI golfers teed off, Sharma returned with a fine round to claim the gross title after the first round.

Gursharan Singh of Canada and Kharag Singh of New Zealand were behind by one stroke with a score of three-over-par 74. Gursharan Singh secured the second spot after the Round One as he had a better score on the back-nine.

Anil, who plays with a scratch handicap, sank a birdie on the fourth hole. He lost a stroke on the ninth hole to be at even-par-36 at the turn. He conceded bogeys on the 12th and 18th to finish the first round with a two over 74 card.

It was bad luck for Kharag Singh of New Zealand as he missed the runner-up spot despite sharing a three over 75 card with Gursharan, who played a better back-nine.

In the 15-24 handicap category, the gross title went to Gursharan Natt who fired a card of 80 with H S Sangha finishing runner up one stroke behind at 81. Manvinder Mavi of Australia was nearest to the pin at 11.5 inches, while Narinder Gill had the longest drive of 302 yards.

The next two days will also see the golfers competing for the daily winners in the gross category apart from the overall gross winner after the end of the third round on Sunday.

results: Gross: 0-14 handicap category: 1. Anil Sharma 74, 2. Gursharan Singh and Kharag Singh 75: 15-24 handicap category : Gursharan Natt 80, HS Sangha 81; Nett: 0-14 handicap category: Anil Sharma 65, Kharag Singh 66; 15-24 handicap category : Gursharan Natt 62, HS Sangha 65; Nearest to pin : Manvinder Mavi; longest drive : Narinder Gill.

Sandhu tied second, Jeev 8th

Noida:Meanwhile, Chandigarh's Ajeetesh Sandhu was lying tied second along with Sri Lanka's Anura Rohana on the opening day of the Shubhkamna Champions Tournament, an event hosted by Jeev Milha Singh in Noida. Sandhu shot a round of 66 in the Rs 60 lakh event at the Noida Golf Club.

Daniel Chopra took a two-shot lead after the first round. Gaganjeet Bhullar, widely tipped as Jeev Milkha Singh's successor in Indian golf was fourth at 67, while Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur and Mukesh Kumar carded 68 each.

Jeev himself carded 69 and was lying tied eighth with Anirban Lahiri and Abhijit Chadha. Arjun Atwal shot 70. "The real business is next two days, but the scores were great today and the conditions excellent. More than anything the response to this event is overwhelming and I want to take it to next level, maybe Asian Tour," said Jeev. The second round will see Jeev go out with Atwal and Randhawa, while Chopra will play with Lahiri and Bhullar.

The draw has been made to ensure greater interest for spectators. Chopra, who has been in lead at various times over last two weeks in Thailand and Malaysia, carried on as he had a brilliant round with eight birdies, an eagle and two bogeys.

"It was great. It was a fantastic. I played well, drove nicely, and putted nicely, despite missing two putts inside three feet. It could have been a really low round," said Chopra, who was in top-10 last weeks and was in lead group on final day both times.

"With the shot gun start I can't remember where the birdies came, but the eagle was, I think, on 17. I had a mix of long and short putts. I missed a two-footer for birdie on 11th and missed a three-footer for par on 18th. The key here is driving straight and putting well," he added.

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