Chowrasia leads Indian charge while Lahiri remains confident at WGC-HSBC Champions

SSP Chawrasia at WGC HSBC ChampionsShanghai: India's S.S.P. Chawrasia was pleased with his encouraging start after he opened with a three-under-par 69 at the US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday.

Despite being disadvantaged by the length of the course at the Sheshan International Golf Club, the three-time Asian Tour winner made up for it with his precise short game where he made a total of 28 putts.

“Honestly this is a very long course for me and I just have to hit it straight and putt well. I did all of that today and I’m happy with how I’ve played.

“It’s a good start and hopefully I can continue the momentum,” said Chowrasia, who trails first round leader Branden Grace of South Africa by six shots.

Anirban Lahiri meanwhile remains confident of catching up with the leaders although he could only post a 70 at the Shanghai showpiece, which is also the richest tournament in Asia.

The Asian Tour Order of Merit leader did not get off to the best of starts when he ran out with a 37 in his back-nine 10.

However, the seven-time Asian Tour winner, hauled himself back with a flawless homeward-nine that was marked with three birdies on holes two, five and seven.

"I have a chance of catching up with the guys ahead, because there's lots of birdies being made today.

"I just started out weak. I missed a whole lot of putts inside eight feet, so that cost me quite a bit. But I'm happy with the way I played on the back nine," said Lahiri.