Pune, Apr 2 : Ahmedabad-based Samarth Dwivedi matched the course record at the Poona Club Golf Course with a stunning eight-under-63 to set the bar in round one of the Pune Open Golf Championship here Tuesday. The 26-year-old Dwivedi led the field at the Rs. 30 lakh event by one shot as Bengaluru’s Jaibir Singh was placed second thanks to his outstanding effort of seven-under-64.
Samarth Dwivedi, who made a big career decision earlier this year by moving his base from Singapore to Ahmedabad, kick-started his round with his first two birdies on the sixth and seventh. He then missed a couple of birdie opportunities on the eighth and ninth but soon got into his stride on the back-nine with four successive birdies from the 10th through the 13th. Dwivedi’s chip for eagle lipped out on the 12th.
Samarth, yet to register his maiden professional win, went on to add two more birdies on the 15th and 17th, the latter being a 20-feet conversion, to seize the early advantage. Dwivedi, who turned professional in 2016, thus equaled the course record set previously by C Muniyappa (2014 PGTI Qualifying School Final Stage), Chikkarangappa (2006), S Madaiah (2005) and Vijay Kumar (2004).
Twenty-eight-year-old Jaibir Singh, playing his third season as a professional, came up with the best round of his career, a seven-under-64, to be close on the heels of the leader. Jaibir, who began the day with a bogey, went on to add an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey to his card. He chipped-in for eagle on the 14th and landed it within five feet on several occasions.
Bengaluru’s Trishul Chinnappa was in third place at six-under-65 while Panchkula’s Angad Cheema and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja occupied joint fourth place at five-under-66. Pravin Pathare and Pratik Nirmale were the best-placed Pune golfers in tied 25th. Both shot scores of even-par-71. Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta, the 2016 Pune Open winner and the only former champion in the field, returned a one-over-72 to be tied 36th. (UNI)