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Shiv Kapur best among Indians

April 12, 2007 22:11 IST

Shiv Kapur overcame a poor start to finish with one-over 72 that put him in tied 27th place at the end of the first day at the Volvo China Open in Shanghai on Thursday.

The 24-year-old is the best among the five Indians in the field and four shots behind on the first day.

Unheralded Huang Ming-jie, who provided the sparkle for the local fans, and Raphael Jacquelin of France were joint-leaders, with 68 each.

Huang, 26, fired a three-under-par 68 with seven birdies against four dropped shots while Jacquelin fired five birdies against two bogeys on a tough scoring day at Shanghai Silport Golf Club.

Gaurav Ghei closed with two birdies in the last four holes en route to a two-over 73, while SSP Chowrasia had a ninth hole eagle and two doubles bogeys, two bogeys and two birdies in his eventful round. They were both tied 41st.

Rahil Gangjee and Amandeep Johl were in danger of missing the cut at five-over 76 each and were at tied 97th place.

The wind was strong and managing the greens was very difficult. The rough was also unforgiving and the fairways tight, making scoring tough.

Kapur had bogeys on the first and fourth holes and then a birdie on the fifth, but an eighth hole double meant he was three-over at that stage. He pulled one with a birdie on ninth. Birdies on 11th and 16th and one bogey on 12th saw him finish at 73.

Thanks to steady putting, American Gary Rusnak was in lone third position a stroke back while Australia's Unho Park and Adam Blyth, New Zealander Richard Lee and England's Yasin Ali were tied fourth, two strokes off the pace.

Also sharing fourth place were local talent Qiu Zhi-feng, Ireland's Graeme McDowell, South African Richard Sterne, Dutchman Robert Jan-derksen, Chris Hanell and Michael Jonzon of Sweden and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

"It is the first time I am leading a tournament. I shall keep my pace and hope to play it safe," said Huang, who is making his third Volvo China Open appearance.

Huang did not have the best of starts with bogeys in the first three holes. He recovered with a birdie on the fifth before dropping another shot on the sixth hole. He bounced back with birdies on the eighth and ninth holes before firing four more birdies on the back nine.

Leading first round scores

68 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA), Huang Ming-jie (CHN)

69 - Gary Rusnak (USA)

70 - Richard Lee (NZL), Qiu Zhi-feng (CHN), Unho Park (AUS), Robert-Jan Derksen (NLD), Chris Hanell (SWE), Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Richard Sterne (RSA), Graeme Mcdowell (NIR), Yasin Ali (ENG), Adam Blyth (AUS), Michael Jonzon (SWE)

71 - Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (ESP), Keith Horne (RSA), Garry Houston (WAL), Maarten Lafeber (NLD), Damien Mcgrane (IRL), Andres Romero (ARG), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Marcel Siem (GER), Scott Hend (AUS), James Kingston (RSA), Edward Loar (USA)

72 - Peter Hanson (SWE), Andrew Mclardy (RSA), Steven Jeppesen (SWE), Kane Webber (AUS), Brett Rumford (AUS), Peter Lawrie (IRL), Markus Brier (AUT), Prom Meesawat (THA), Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Jason Knutzon (USA), Gary Emerson (ENG), David Griffiths (ENG), Shiv Kapur (IND), Mark Pilkington (WAL).