India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar secured the tied-38th position, the best among Indians, after an opening round of two-under 70 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship here on Wednesday.
Bhullar started from the back-nine and had five birdies against three bogeys. He is eight shots behind Shane Lowry, the leader. Lowry has a three-shot lead after carding 62.
Shubhankar Sharma, who also started from back-nine, shot an even par 72, with two birdies — on 13th and 18th — and two bogeys — on 18th and the fifth. He is tied-79th. Compatriot S. S. P. Chawrasia, after shooting three-over 75, will need a low second round to stay on for the weekend.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Lowry, by scoring 62, became the first man to match Henrik Stenson’s 13-year-old record after firing 10 birdies and no bogeys. Louis Oosthuizen, Richard Sterne and Mike Lorenzo-Vera were in a tie for second after making the most of favourable scoring conditions in the morning. Afternoon starter Pablo Larrazabal was alongside them on seven-under-par, after carding a stunning eagle, six birdies and one bogey in his first round.