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Kahlon best among Indians on day one

September 01, 2005 18:14 IST

Harmeet Kahlon opened with a good round of three-under 69 to be tied 11th and best among Indians on the first day of the US $300,000 Volkswagen Masters China, at the Jinghua Golf Club in Beijing.

As many as 13 Indians are playing in the event that marks the start of the second half of the Asian Tour season.

Gaurav Ghei, Digvijay Singh, Amandeep Johl and Mukesh Kumar were all tied 29th with one-under 71, while defending champion Rahil Gangjee, Shiv Kapur, Ashok Kumar and Sandy Lehal brought home par round and were tied 46th.

South African star Retief Goosen stamped his class with a blistering eight-under-par 64 to establish a new course record at the Jinghua Golf Club. The world number five was in imperious form, shooting two eagles and five birdies and leads by two strokes from Canadian Darren Griffand and Gary Simpson of Australia.

US Open champion Michael Campbell limped his way to a 67 while promising Chinese youngster Li Chao led the local brigade with an impressive 68.

Firoze Ali, with a round of one-over 73, was tied 66th, while Arjun Singh and Uttam Singh Mundy were at three-over 75 and tied 85th. Vivek Bhandari with a five-over 77 was tied 127th.

Kahlon, meanwhile, said he was pleased with his start and would try to maintain his momentum.

"I played the par fives well. There, playing downwind on three of them and I birdied three, which helped get my round going. It was a good, solid round and I'm pleased with my start, this especially being my first competitive tournament in nearly two months," Kahlon said.

"There was a bit of rust but I'm sure it'll get better as the week gets on," said the Chandigarh pro, whose solitary win on Asian Tour came in 2002 Hero Honda Masters.

"I started on the back nine and made bogeys on 14 with a three putt and then another bogey on 15. But I kept it together. My iron play was good this morning as my birdie putts were all makeable distances. I didn't really have any long putts today," he added.

Kahlon knocked in four birdies and one bogey in his second nine, the front nine of the course and finished well at three-under 69.

Amandeep Johl had a bogey-double bogey on first and second, but still managed to recover to come one-under with five other birdies and one more bogey. Digvijay Singh had three birdies on front nine for a 33 and a double bogey on 18th saw him end with a one-under 71.

Shiv Kapur had seven birdies, but he could not hold on to them as he also had three double bogeys on the ninth, tenth and 18th and ended with a par round.

Gangjee turned in a par round after starting with a bogey on second. He had two more bogeys and three birdies on fifth, 10th and 16th.

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