Lahiri best Indian after first round in Cambodian Open golf

December 11th, 2008 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Siem Reap (Cambodia), Dec 11 (IANS) Rookie Anirban Lahiri shot a steady two-under 70 to be the best Indian on the opening day of the $300,000 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open golf here Thursday.Lahiri, who played the first two rounds with World No. 3 Phil Mickelson at the Singapore Open, was tied 18th, six shots behind leader Welshman Rhys Davies (64). He is one of the eight Indians in the fray at the season’s last event before the Volvo Masters of Asia next week in Bangkok.

Behind Davies was two-time Asian Tour winner Anthony Kang of the US at 65 while Indonesia’s Rory Hidayat posted a 66 to take third place. Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol, is in fourth place on 67 at the Phokeethra Country Club .

Among other Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar was next best at tied 27th with a round of one-under 71. Gurbaaz Mann (72) was tied 43rd, while Sujjan Singh, Himmat Rai, Feroze Ali, Harmeet Kahlon and Digvijay Singh all shot 74 each and were 69th.

Amandeep Johl, who had his best finish of the season last week in Vietnam masters, shot himself out of the tournament with a 78 that put him in tied 108th place.

Thai superstar Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant together with Australia’s Gavin Flint, Malaysia’s Airil Rizman and Korea’s Park Jae-bum are bunched together in fifth with matching 68s.

Thailand’s Plaphol bolstered his chances of winning his third Asian Tour title after grabbing the early morning lead. He got off to a strong start on his opening back-nine when he rattled in five birdies before making the turn in four-under.

The 34-year-old Thai continued to maintain his good form with two more birdies on the second and fourth hole after the turn before dropping a shot on the sixth for a lone bogey.

Defending champion Bryan Saltus of the US began his defence with a 72 to end the day in tied-43rd place.

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