Jha, Lakra set early pace at LG Northern India Amateur

September 1st, 2009 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) Abhishek Jha took pole position along with S.K. Lakra after the first round of the LG Northern India Amateur Championship at the Delhi Golf Club here Tuesday.
Bangalore’s Jha, going for his second straight win on the LG Amateur Tour, and Lakra were the only two players to card sub-par rounds Tuesday.

A three-way chasing pack comprising H.S.Kang, Kanishk Madan and Rahul Bajaj returned level-par rounds. Chandigarh’s Kang, starting from the 10th, looked set to celebrate his birthday with the best round of the day before a double bogey on the par-4 third put him off the pace. Both Kang and Bajaj, winners on the circuit last year, are searching for their first title this season.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan, defending his Northern India title, struggled on the greens and finished with a round of two-over 74. Many other players fell to the traps of the narrow fairways and trying conditions, resulting in high scores.

Jha, playing his last few tournaments on the amateur circuit before he heads to

Q-school on the Asian Tour, started off with a couple of bogeys on the back-nine but a birdie on the 18th helped him make the turn at one-over. He found his range soon after as he made birdies on the second and third, and narrowly missed out on adding two more on the next couple of holes, as both his putts came agonisingly close to finding the bottom of the cup.

The 22-year-old said, “I was really happy with my hitting today but the putting let me down. If I could have avoided the three bogeys on my card, I would have been excited about my round but I am still satisfied with what I shot.”

Two juniors, 13-year-old Honey Basoya and 15-year-old Ankur Chadha, playing on the amateur circuit for the first time, got their campaigns off to credible starts with rounds of 75 each.

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