Cochin Masters: Ajeetesh, Shivendra and Sudhir in lead pack

Just around a week ago, he was virtually freezing in Osaka in the Japan Golf Tour. But despite the hot and humid conditions here, Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu was quick to settle down and move to the lead with an impressive five-under-67.

Sharing the lead with Ajeetesh were Delhi’s Shivendra Singh Sisodia and Noida’s Sudhir Sharma.   -  Special arrangement

Just around a week ago, he was virtually freezing in Osaka in the Japan Golf Tour. But despite the hot and humid conditions here, Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu was quick to settle down and move to the lead with an impressive five-under-67 in the PGTI Cochin Masters on Wednesday.

Sharing the lead with Ajeetesh were Delhi’s Shivendra Singh Sisodia and Noida’s Sudhir Sharma. They are ahead of their nearest challengers by two strokes.

“It was three degrees when we played in Japan last week. And the rain and the layers of heavy clothing made it tougher,” said the 28-year-old, who has a partial card on the Japan Tour, at the CIAL Golf Club, Nedumbassery.

“The conditions here are exactly the opposite of what I faced in Japan. In that sense, I think I made a pretty good start. The course here is playing better and tougher than ever before.”

Meanwhile Shivendra, who had a good first round last year here, started with three birdies on the first four holes and finished the day with three more on the back nine.

“I was quite accurate with the irons today, having landed it within three feet of the pin on five occasions. That helped set up a lot of birdies for me,” said Shivendra.

Kolkata’s Feroz Ali Mollah, the defending champion, was one of the six men behind the leaders with three-under-69

Placings after round one (par-72 course): 1. Sudhir Sharma, Shivendra Singh Sisodia & Ajeetesh Sandhu (all 67), 4. Deepinder Singh Kullar, Om Prakash Chouhan, Dipankar Kaushal, M. Dharma, Feroz Ali Mollah, Amardip Singh Malik (all 69).