Asian Tour: Rory Hie shoots 8-under 66, opens two-shot lead

The young duo of Adil Bedi (18) and Aman Raj (24) fired rounds of 67 to stay three shots off the leader. A trio of Thai professionals shared the second spot at 66.

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Rory Hie enjoyed a bogey-free round to finish the opening day on top of the leaderboard.

Indonesia’s Rory Hie opened a two-stroke lead with a stunning bogey-free round of eight-under 66 and showed set the pace for the rest of the field on the first day of the $300,000 Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship here on Thursday.

The young duo of Adil Bedi (18) and Aman Raj (24) fired rounds of 67 to stay three shots off the leader. A trio of Thai professionals shared the second spot at 66.

With 33 Indians breaking par in the first round, it is easy to guess the challenge offered by the course on a windless day. The high level of humidity played its part and tested those on the course. No wonder, Rory Hie made the most of teeing off at 8.30 and signing off before the conditions became more challenging.

“This is probably like the most enjoyable round I had all year,” said the Indonesian leader. “I felt like I was in the zone for most of the round and everything just worked to my favour.  I just have to continue enjoying myself and approach the next three days with the same attitude.”

Rory Hie was tied ninth when he played here in the 2009 SAIL Open. “That was the year when Chapchai (Nirat) won and set the world record. The rough now makes it so much more difficult. If you don’t hit it on the fairway, you got to scramble and make par. Funny thing was the caddie I worked with back then still recognized me and we are reuniting again this week.”

The scores (Indians unless stated):

First round: 64 - Rory Hie (Ina), 66 - Sattaya Supuramai (Tha), Suradit
Yongcharoenchai (Tha), Kwanchai Tannin (Tha); 67 - Adil Bedi, Aman
Raj, Andreas Gronkvist (Swe), 68 - Rashid Khan, Ranjit Singh and
Poosit Surpuramai (Tha), Daniel Fox (Aus), Neil Schietekat (RSA),
Akbar Hossain (Ban), Abhijit Chadha, Seungjae Maeng (USA), Himmat Rai
and Narutoshi Mizuno (Jpn).

Other Indians (with sub-par scores):
69- Abhinav Lohan, Priyanshu Singh, C. Muniyappa, Amadip Malik, Sanjay Kumar, Anikur Chadha, Mani Ram, Yashas Chandra, Kshitisj Naveed Kaul, Viraj Madappa, Shivnaren Srinivasan; 70 - Sudhir Sharma, Raju Ali, Vijay Kumar, S. Chikkarangappa, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Dhruv Sheoran, Harshjeet Singh Sethie (A) 71 - Veer Ahlawat,  Harendra Gupta, Shamim Khan, Om Prakash Chouhan, Divyanshu Bajaj, Honey Baisoya, Kapil Kumar, Shivendra Singh Sisodia and Amandeep Johl.