Chawrasia recovers with four birdies on back nine in Qatar

Chawrasia, winner of two titles in 2016, including Hero Indian Open on the Asian and European Tours, opened with a birdie on the par-5 first, but then went into the dreaded rocks and cacti on the par-4 sixth.

Chawrasia ended tied-43rd after the first round of the Commercial Bank golf tournament.   -  Getty Images

India’s SSP Chawrasia produced a brilliant four-under on back nine to card two-under 70 and recover from a rough start in the first round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters golf tournament, here today.

Chawrasia, winner of two titles in 2016, including Hero Indian Open on the Asian and European Tours, opened with a birdie on the par-5 first, but then went into the dreaded rocks and cacti on the par-4 sixth.

But the small built Indian star fought back on the return journey with four superb birdies on 10th, 13th, 15th and 17th for a two-under card, which placed him tied 43rd.

“I’m really happy to come back after a triple bogey on seven. I hit a drive left and my ball was in a lot of stones so I took a penalty drop and then chipped out. On the fourth shot, I hit the green then three putted from over 30 feet. That was very disappointing,” Chawrasia said.

Chawrasia was delighted with his recovery and said, .

“It’s Republic Day so I got a lot of messages this morning and I replied to many of them. It’s a big celebration back home and in the end I am also happy with my back nine.

“After that (triple bogey), I told myself that I could still save the round as there are many holes left and I then made a few birdies on the back nine and came back. I’m looking forward to another round.”

Thailand’s 27-year-old Kiradech Aphibarnrat raised the possibility of a first Asian champion at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters after the big-hitting Thai carded a six-under-par 66 in the first round.

But he was third behind Welshman Bradley Dredge (64) and Finland’s Mikko Korhonnen (65).

Besides Kiradech, two other players, Graeme McDowell, former US Open winner and Nathan Kimsey shot 66 each.