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Two tie for lead

July 20, 2004 18:27 IST

Three-times Sri Lankan Open winner Simarjeet Singh and local lad Jagmohan Gill shared the lead after the first round in the Royal Challenge Indian Golf Tour's opening event, the Northern India Amateur, being played at the par-72 Army Golf Course, in Delhi on Tuesday.

Both Simarjeet and Jagmohan submitted an identical score of two-under 70 under hot and windy conditions.

Earlier, Kapil Channa, president Corporate Affairs Shaw Wallace, Prakash Bhandari, vice-presient Indian Golf Union and Brig. S P Rai, captain, Army Golf Course inaugurated the tournament, which is the first leg of the Royal Challenge Indian Golf Tour.

Jagmohan, who belongs to the Army Golf Course, seemed to inspire his course-mates as No. 2 ranked amateur Vikrant Chopra occupied the sole third position with a total of one-under 71 while Deepinder Kullar was placed fourth, a stroke further behind.

Top ranked Manav Das was tied for the sixth place along with Keshav Misra and Rajeev Kumar with one-over 73. Former India cricket star Kapil Dev was tied for the 11th place along with seven others at three-over 75.

Simarjeet, who finished third at Jaypee Open last week, was in great form.

Although he three-putted for a bogey on the very first hole, he made up with birdies on three par-fives, the 5th, 14th and 15th.

"I had a good round today. I had some good luck and played some good shots. The weather was testing today as it was tough to play our shots," said Simarjeet, who is employed with Oil India.

Jagmohan, who began from the 10th tee, also saved strokes in the par-fives (12th and 14th) to finish his forward journey at two-under. A bogey on the par-five 5th was balanced by a birdie on the par-four seventh by taking advantage of the tailwind and landing a 328-yard long drive. A great chip shot saw him 5 feet away from the pin for a birdie.

"I had a great feel today and everything went right for me," said an excited Jagmohan after the round.

Vikrant, who was the first to tee-off, made a spate of bogeys on the sixth, 10th and 15th. However, birdies on the eighth, 12th, 14th and the par-three 13th saw him go one-under for the day.

"My game was a little patchy today. I didn't putt too well," said Vikrant, who is supported by ONGC and Titleist.

With the top players bunched-up together, the Northern India amateur has all the makings of an exciting finish.

Scores (after first round): 70_Simarjeet Singh, Jagmohan S Gill; 71_Vikrant Chopra; 72_Deepinder Singh Kullar: 73_Keshav Misra, Manav Das, Rajeev Kumar; 74_Gagan Verma, Pramod Kumar, Vikranjit Singh; 75_AS Lehul, Amardeep Malik, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jaskeerat Singh Dullet, Kapil Dev, Sikender Ali, Vikram Rana; 76 _Arshpreet Singh Thinde, Balwinder Singh Mattu, Chirag Kumar, HS Kang, Jwo Nawab Singh, Lakhan Singh, Ranjit Singh, Sanjeev Singh and Shaurya Singh.