Gangjee cards 66 to be fifth at Asian Tour International golf

March 20th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by admin  

Chonburi (Thailand), March 20 (IANS) Rahil Gangjee, hoping to follow in the winning footsteps of his fellow Kolkata golfers S.S.P. Chowrasia and Arjun Atwal, made up for the absence of the Indian heavyweights by compiling a superb six-under 66 on the opening day of the inaugural Asian Tour International here Thursday. Gangjee was two shots behind leaders Noh Seung Yul of South Korea and local youngster Sattaya Supupramai, both of whom fired impressive eight-under-par 64 each to share the lead after first round.

Sattaya, 24, closed in with nine birdies against a lone dropped shot for the outright lead before the former South Korean amateur number one, Noh, holed two eagles for a tie at the top of the pack at the Pattaya Golf and Sports Resort.

India’s Gaurav Ghei and Amandeep Johl shot four-under 68 each to be tied 15th, while their compatriots Arjun Singh and Digvijay Singh at 72 each were tied 82nd.

Gurbaaz Mann and Firoz Ali, the other Indians, carded 73 each and were 106th while Gaganjeet Bhullar shot 74.

Gangjee, who has had an average season, teed off at the 10th and opened with three pars and then shot four birdies over next six holes.

On his second nine, Gangjee was steady and found a birdie on the second and then another on the seventh. A dropped shot on the eighth was his only blemish but he closed with a birdie for a 66.

“That was a nice way to finish after dropping a shot on eighth,” said Gangjee. “I am getting my game around and am happy with the progress,” he said.

Johl started on the 10th and had an eagle two on the par-4 13th and he was four-under at the turn. A birdie on fourth saw him touch five-under but a double bogey on fifth spoilt his card. He did finish with a birdie for a 68.

Ghei started with two birdies on first and second and had five in all and just one bogey.

England’s Simon Griffiths emulated his start from last week in third spot after a 65 with Lin Wen Tang of Chinese Taipei. Gangjee was tied fifth with Japan’s Mitsuhiro Tateyama and Welshman Craig Smith.

But it was Sattaya, who stole the limelight in the morning session, teeing off with two opening birdies before scorching the back nine with six birdies.

Sattaya was a football enthusiast before making a switch to golf at the age of 15. He turned professional in 2006 and chalked up one win on the local circuit last year.

With two eagles and four birdies, youngster Noh enjoyed a bogey free round, thanks to the watchful eye of his father Noh Gu Huieun, who is on the bag this week.

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