Canizares, Whiteford take joint lead at Avantha Masters; Rai tied 4thFebruary 16th, 2012 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS
Gurgaon, Feb 16 (IANS) Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and Scotland’s Peter Whiteford set the early pace when they posted matching six-under-par 66s to share the first round lead at the Avantha Masters golf here Thursday.
Italy’s Federico Colombo is a further shot back in third place after he signed for a 67 while Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee are bunched in fourth place alongside four other players including India’s Himmat Rai on 68 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Canizares, who is playing in India for the first time, hopes to bring home happy memories of his stay at the tournament tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and PGTI.
After a near-flawless round, the Spaniard could be on his way towards ending a six-year title drought in the richest tournament in India, thanks to its $2.3 million prize fund.
“I played very steady and I putted quite nicely. The only mistake I made was missing a short putt on the seventh so I made a bogey. But overall it was a nice round with not many mistakes,” said Canizares, a one-time European Tour winner.
Whiteford meanwhile had five birdies in his back-nine including four consecutive ones from the 10th hole to thank for surging him to the top of the leaderboard.
The Scot reached the turn in 35 after mixing two birdies against one bogey but hurled himself back into contention with a sparkling homeward run.
Aphibarnrat proved once again that India is a happy hunting ground for him after he took the morning round lead with his 68.
After narrowly missing out on his second Asian Tour win in Myanmar earlier this month, Kiradech is determined to shine again in the country where he savoured the winning feeling for the first time.
Compatriot Thongchai also kept up the Asian challenge by staying close to the leaders even though he was still feeling the effects of a throat infection.
Leading scores after Round 1:
66 - Alejandro Canizares (ESP), Peter Whiteford (SCO).
67 - Federico Colombo (ITA).
68 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA), Himmat Rai (IND), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA), Jamie Donaldson (WAL), Gregory Havret (FRA).
69 - Vivek Bhandari (IND), Scott Jamieson (SCO), Peter Uihlein (USA), Oscar Floren (SWE), Marcel Siem (GER), Andrea Pavan (ITA), Anirban Lahiri (IND), Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Marcus Fraser (AUS).
70 - Chapchai Nirat (THA), Paul McGinley (IRL), Rhys Davies (WAL), Mithun Perera (SRI), Shamim Khan (IND), Joost Luiten (NED), Berry Henson (USA), Scott Barr (AUS), Marcus Both (AUS), George Murray (SCO), Soren Hansen (DEN), Jbe Kruger (RSA), Mardan Mamat (SIN), Ignacio Garrido (ESP).
76 - Todd Hamilton (USA)
79 - John Daly (USA).
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Tags: alejandro canizares, asian challenge, asian tour, birdies, bogey, compatriot, contention, dlf golf, federico colombo, golf and country club, happy hunting ground, happy memories, masters golf, pgti, scot, short putt, spaniard, thongchai jaidee, throat infection, title drought