Flawless Chowrasia 17th at Malaysian Open golf

February 12th, 2009 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 12 (IANS) Indian golfers had mixed fortunes on the opening day as S.S.P. Chowrasia (69) alone was in the top-20 as South Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul fired a stunning 10-under-par 62 to snatch the first round lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open here Thursday.
While Chowrasia, winner of the Emaar-MGF Indian Masters, was lying tied 17th, Shiv Kapur and Gaurav Ghei were tied 30th at two-under 70 each. Jyoti Randhawa (71) was lying 49th and Digvijay Singh (72) 69th. Gaganjeet Bhullar (76) was struggling at 129th and Amandeep johl went 10-over 82 and was dead last 156th.

Chowrasia was flawless through the day with two birdies on fourth and seventh on front nine and one on back nine on 15th. Ghei had three birdies in a span of five holes between 13th and 18th, but he also had a bogey on 17th in his 70, where he shot par for all nine on front stretch.

Kapur opened on the tenth with three birdies in a row and then two more but also bogeyed three times to end at 70.

The highly talented 17-year-old, Noh, the Asian Tour’s rookie of the year last season, hit top form at the $2 million event, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour. He sank an eagle and nine birdies to lead by one stroke from playing partner Alexander Noren of Sweden at the Saujana Golf and Country Club’s Palm course.

Chinese star Liang Wen-chong, the 2007 Asian No.1, carded a 65 to lie in tied third place alongside Frenchman Jean-Francois Lucquin, who was runner-up here two years ago.

A fine 66 from Danny Chia saw him carry the Malaysian challenge as he ended the day in a share of fifth place with England’s Nick Dougherty and Australian Adam Blyth.

However, world No.11 Anthony Kim of the United States struggled on the greens in his Maybank Malaysian Open debut and signed for a 78 while two-time champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand carded a 69 to lie seven strokes off the pace.

Noh has taken Asian golf by storm after winning the Midea China Classic and registering three other runner-up finishes en route to 10th place on the Order of Merit last season.

Although his sizzling 62 was two shots better than the Saujana course mark, it will not be considered an official record as the preferred lie ruling was in operation. But Noh was elated to end the day atop the leaderboard.

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