Strong start for sleepless Digvijay at Vietnam Masters golf

December 4th, 2008 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Hanoi, Dec 4 (IANS) Indian golfer Digvijay Singh, admitting to lack of sleep after landing late because of diverted flight, carded a fine five-under 67 to lie tied fifth in the company of Thongchai Jaidee at the end of the first round of the Hana Bank Vietnam Masters here Thursday.Digvijay, starting on the tenth, had four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey in his round and he was two off the leader Japan’s Kodai Ichihara, who despite two bogeys carded a seven-under 65 at the Vietnam Golf and Country Club.

Ichihara was followed by Chinese Taipei veteran Wang ter-Chang, who had a hole-in-one on 13th enroute to a 66, a score equalled by Scott Barr of Australia and Pyo Suk-min of South Korea in the $500,000 Asian Tour event.

Another Indian to make a strong start was young Himmat Rai, who after a unsteady start with two bogeys in first five holes, had five birdies in seven holes from sixth to 12th, in his round of four-under 68 that put him at tied 11th.

Amandeep Johl (71) was tied 23rd, while Rahil Gangjee and Gurbaaz Mann carded 73 each to be tied 50th. Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chowrasia, both shots 76 each, to be tied 98th, while Gaganjeet Bhullar struggled to a seven-over 79 in 115th place.

Digvijay, who had one top-10 finish this season, had a bogey on the 11th, but birdies on 15th and 18th saw him turn in one-under. Later an eagle on first, followed by birdies on sixth and ninth saw him return a 67.

“Considering that I did not have much sleep heading into the first round, I am very happy with my result. My flight was diverted and when I arrived here, I couldn’t sleep. If I can keep shooting these low scores, I might not end up sleeping at all,” said Digvijay, who has already secured his card for 2009.

Thongchai, the former Asian Tour No.1 carded six birdies against a lone bogey and was tied at fifth alongside Filipino Artemio Murakami, Welshman Rhys Davies, Korean Young Nam and American Anthony Kang. Defending champion Chapchai Nirat opened a slow start after a 75.

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