Digvijay flying high at Singapore Open golfNovember 13th, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS
Singapore, Nov 13 (IANS) India’s Digvijay Singh was flying high as he was three-under through 11 holes and was provisionally second at the end of the rain-hit first round of the $5 million Barclay’s Singapore Open golf tournament here Thursday.Digvijay, with seven holes still to play, was one shot behind leader Lam Chih-Bing of Singapore, who shot a 67.
The Indian was one of the 71 players who were yet to complete their first round, which was hit by rain and thunderstorm in the afternoon prompting suspension of play for two hours and 10 minutes.
“I am totally relaxed after the skydiving experience (with brother-in-law and fellow pro golfer, Jyoti Randhawa), in Hissar last week. I was just beginning to enjoy it (first round) and had the momentum going when play was stopped due to fading light,” said Digvijay. “But with the stoppage earlier in the day, there was little anyone could do.”
Digvijay, whose best this year was tied fourth at Emaar-MGF Indian Masters has already secured his card for 2009 and is 19th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
The next best Indian Thursday was S.S.P. Chowrasia, who has struggled with form and fitness (wrist injury) since his breakthrough win at the Emaar-MGF Indian Masters in February this year. He seemed to be finding his way as he was one-under through 15 holes on day when only 23 players went under par and many big names took a toss with big scores.
Among other Indians, Shiv Kapur, who just kept his European Tour card last month, was even through nine holes, while Jeev Milkha Singh and Amandeep Johl were two-over after 14 and nine holes respectively.
Gaganjeet Bhullar opened with a double bogey on first and then had two birdies and two bogeys through the remainder of the round for his 73. Arjun Singh, hoping for a good finish to get him his Asian Tour card for 2009, was two-over 73.
Anirban Lahiri, who got to know of his entry into main draw only last evening struggled on the greens playing in the company of Phil Mickelson and ended with a nine-over 80.
Two of the big Indian stars, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal struggled to rounds of 75 and 76.
Randhawa, starting on the 10th, did well to stop the slide as he was four-over after nine, including a double on par-5 18th and then had another bogey on first to be five-over after 10 holes. Birdies on second and fourth were some compensation before he dropped yet another shot on fifth for a round of 75.
Atwal playing in the company of two-time British Open champion, Padraig Harrington, said he was still reeling under the jet and had just five holes before rain curtailed his pro-am.
Leader Lam was followed by Marcus Both (68), Ernie Els (three-under through 14), Oliver Wilson (three-under through 12) and Digvijay.
The two biggest names in the tournament World No. 3 Phil Mickelson and world No. 5 Harrington also went over par. Irishman Harrington shot an one-over-par 72 on a wet day, while Phil Mickelson went two-over 73.
Scores (only Indians): Digvijay Singh (three-under through 11), S.S.P. Chowrasia (one-under through 15), Shiv Kapur (even through 12), Gaganjeet Bhullar and Arjun Singh (73 each), Amandeep Johl (two-over through 9), Jeev Milkha Singh (two-over through 14), Gaurav Ghei (74), Himmat Rai (three-over through 8), Jyoti Randhawa (75), Arjun Atwal (76), Rahil Gangjee (six-over through 13) and Anirban Lahiri (80).