Jyoti Randhawa played a brilliant back nine to card a first round of six-under 64 and take a share of the lead at the USD 2 million UBS Hong Kong Open at the Fanling Country Club in Hong Kong on Thursday.
The 34-year-old Indian began sedately with four pars and a bogey on the fifth hole, but then went into an overdrive and had seven birdies between the seventh and 18th holes.
Randhawa, who led for the first half of the HSBC Champions before fading away on the final day and ending tied ninth last week in Shanghai, shared the top position with Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara who had a bogey-free round.
Jeev Milkha Singh, leader on the UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit, had a great start with a four-under 66 that gave him a share of sixth place with four others.
Liang Wenchong of China, Graeme Storm of England and Gregory Bourdy of France were tied third at five-under.
Storm played a sensational back nine, which was actually his first nine, with six birdies in a row from 11th to 16th, before he bogeyed three in a row from the 17th through 18th and first. He ended with a 65.
Of the other Indians in the field, Rahil Gangjee and Gaurav Ghei shot even par 70 each and were tied 59th. Both had four birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey each.
Harmeet Kahlon had two birdies and five and was lying tied 115th, while SSP Chowrasia shot two birdies and four bogeys in 74 and was tied 125th.
Chowrasia was in danger of missing his first cut this season and to avoid that he needs to shoot a good low score on second day.