Chiragh, Ajeetesh, Ranjit in three-way lead on day one

 Chiragh, Ajeetesh, Ranjit in three-way lead on day oneNoida: The reigning Rolex Rankings champion Chiragh Kumar of Delhi shares a three-way lead along with Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu and Kolkata’s Ranjit Singh Rathore after round one of the PGTI Players Championship being played at the Noida Golf Course. Chiragh, Ajeetesh and Ranjit shot matching scores of two under 70 on Wednesday. Seven players including Jyoti Randhawa, Manav Jaini and local lad Rahul Bajaj were tied for fourth with scores of one under 71.

Chiragh Kumar bagged his first birdie on the 12th where he made a 12 feet putt. The bogey on the 18th was negated by a birdie on the first that came as a result of a brilliant chip from the edge. Chiragh sank a 15 feet birdie putt on the fourth and added another birdie with a great up and down from the bunker on the eighth. He finally closed the day at two under after dropping a bogey on the ninth.

“It’s a good score if one takes into account the tough conditions that prevailed. It was very windy today and therefore scoring was not easy. I putted well today. This is a steady start to the tournament and I’m quite happy with my performance,” said Chiragh.

Ajeetesh Sandhu started the tournament with a bang as he made eagle on the first hole where he landed his four-iron second shot within three feet of the hole. A couple of poor tee shots led to bogeys for Ajeetesh on the second and fourth. He came back with birdies on the sixth and seventh thanks to some excellent approach shots. The effect of the double bogey on the 13th was wiped out by birdies on the last two par-5 holes, the 14th and 17th.

Ajeetesh said, “I’m carrying forward the momentum from my top-20 finish on the Asian Tour last week. I hit it well today. A couple of mistakes cost me a few strokes today. Nonetheless, it’s a decent start to the week.”

Ranjit Singh Rathore made three birdies and a bogey in his round of 70 to be the joint leader along with Chiragh and Ajeetesh.

Jyoti Randhawa, Manav Jaini, Vijay Kumar, Amardip Sinh Malik, Mandeo Singh Pathania, Karan Vasudeva and Noida’s Rahul Bajaj are tied fourth at one under 71.