Arjun at 19th place in Manila, best among Indians

April 3rd, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by admin  

Manila, April 3 (IANS) Two bogeys over the last three holes spoilt the day for Arjun Singh in the opening round of the Philippine Open Thursday. Placed at two-under after 16 holes, Arjun was in top-10 before hitting the bogey road. The 39-year-old Arjun, who recently won the SRF matchplay tournament on his home tour the PGTI (Professional Golf Tour of India), is trying to regain his regular spot on the Asian Tour, which he lost in 2004.

Arjun was best among the Indians here as Japanese hotshot Kodai Ichihara took charge at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club by firing a six-under-par 66 for the opening round lead.

Young Himmat Rai shot an eagle in his 73, while Digvijay Singh carded a similar score but with a double bogey on his closing 18th hole to be tied at 27th. Gurbaaz Mann (74) was tied 49th, while Harmeet Kahlon (77) was 96th and Gaganjet Bhullar hit three double bogeys from eighth to tenth to be six-over 78 in tied 112th.

Ichihara, the 2008 Asian Tour’s Qualifying School graduate, fired seven birdies against a lone bogey for a one stroke advantage over local hero Benjie Magada and Australia’s Gavin Flint who carded matching 67s.

Ashley Hall of Australia shot a 68 to lie in a tie for fourth place together with Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol in the $300,000 Asian Tour event. Australian Michael Wright was in lone sixth spot three strokes off the pace while Thai youngster Wisut Artjanawat carded a 70 to lie in seventh place.

Ichihara earned his first full playing rights on the Asian Tour in 2001 and returned recently when he finished tied 15th place at the Qualifying School in Malaysia last December. He is playing in his third event this season.

Leading first round scores

66 - Kodai Ichihara (JPN)

67 - Gavin Flint (AUS), Benjie Magada (PHI)

68 - Chawalit Plaphol (THA), Ashley Hall (AUS)

69 - Michael Wright (AUS)

70 - Wisut Artjanawat (THA)

71 - Brad Kennedy (AUS), Artemio Murakami (PHI), Young Nam (KOR), Marlon Dizon (PHI), Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA), Chang Tse-peng (TPE), Lin Keng-chi (TPE), Ben Leong (MAS), Antonio Lascuna (PHI), Danny Chia (MAS), Jonel Ababa [A (PHI)

72 - Arjun Singh (IND), Chris Rodgers (ENG), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Mitchell Brown (AUS), Steven Tiley (ENG), Pat Giles (AUS), Will Yanagisawa (USA), Ronald Pactolerin (PHI)

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