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Digvijay tied second in Beijing

September 29, 2005 19:21 IST

Digvijay Singh was lying tied second with six holes remaining when rain stopped play in the first round of the US $200,000 Crowne Plaza Open in Beijing on Thursday.

Digvijay was one shot off the lead, held by Thai Thaworn Wiratchant, who carded a three-under 69 at the Grand Epoch City Golf Club.

One shot behind the Indian was up and coming Chinese star Li Chao, who shot 70.

As many as 45 players were still to complete their rounds.

On a day with persistent showers and an hour-long suspension in the morning, some of the Indian players had a rough time.

Apart from Digvijay, who held his own with three birdies and just one bogey in his 12 holes, Shiv Kapur was at two-over after 15 holes.

Digvijay started on the 10th and had birdies on the 13th and 14th, but a bogey on 17th set him back. He birdied again on the par-three second to go two-under.

Kapur opened with a bogey and had three more, including back-to-back bogeys on 11th and 12th. But two birdies on the fourth and 15th gave him some respite before play was stopped.

He was tied 31st with three holes to play.

Uttam Singh Mundy and Vivek Bhandari were tied 40th as they finished their round at three-over 75, while Rahil Gangjee was also three-over with three to play.

It was a testing day for KPS Sekhon, who carded a seven-over 79, and Gurbaaz Mann, who had seven bogeys and three double bogeys in his 13-over 85.

Thaworn, currently leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit, battled to a three-under-par 69. The Thai had two bogeys to start with but bounced back with six birdies over his last 10 holes.

"We're playing on a tough course this week and the rain made it so much harder this morning. I did not have the best of starts but I came back nicely. To shoot a 69 is very good and I am happy," said Thaworn.

Thailand's Prom Meesawat, Filipino Gerald Rosales and Hong Kong's James Stewart carded 71s to remain close to Thaworn, winner of the Taiwan Open two weeks ago and the Standard Chartered Indonesia Open in March.

The second edition of the Crowne Plaza Open lost its top draw, Zhang Lian-wei of China, who withdrew before the start of his round due to a bout of flu. But youngster Li Chao led the local brigade with a battling round that had five birdies.

The 24-year-old has shown signs of maturity in his game in recent months. He won a China Tour event and finished tied ninth at the Volkswagen Masters-China earlier this month where he was showered with praise by US Open champion Michael Campbell.

Leading first round scores: 69 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA); 70 - Li Chao (CHN); 71 - Gerald Rosales (PHI), Prom Meesawat (THA), James Stewart (HKG); 72 - Jonathan O'Sullivan (AUS), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Chang Tse-peng (TPE), Jochen Lupprian (GER), Larry Austin (AUS).