Gangjee, Jeev and Himmat tied-34th in wet conditions in Japan

Rahil Gangjee, Jeev Milkha Singh and Himmat Rai were six shots behind the leader Satoshi Kodaira, who was six-under-par 64, which saw him lead the opening round at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup in Japan.

Rahil Gangjee shot even par 70 to be tied 34th at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Three of the seven Indians in the field - Rahil Gangjee, Jeev Milkha Singh and Himmat Rai - shot even par 70 to be tied 34th at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup here today.

Apart from the early starters, most of the other golfers including Indians played in rain and their scoring was hampered here at the highly-acclaimed Ibaraki Country Club’s West course.

The Indian trio was six shots behind the leader, local Satoshi Kodaira, who credited his improved putting for a superb six-under-par 64, which saw him lead the opening round.

The other Indians were further down the leaderboard.

While Arjun Atwal (72) at tied-69th needed a good second round to stay on for the weekend, Chiragh Kumar (74) at 110th, Jyoti Randhawa (75) at 122nd and Gaganjeet Bhullar (77) at tied-128th are facing early exits unless they produce excellent second rounds.

Kodaira, 27, has won thrice on the local circuit. He marked his card with seven birdies against a lone bogey to lead by one shot over compatriot Shugo Imahira.

Filipino ace Juvic Pagunsan, Thai duo Phachara Khongwatmai and Thitiphun Chuayprakong emerged as the highest placed Asian Tour members in tied-third place following matching 66s at the ¥150 million (approximately USD 1.3 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour.

Phachara, only 17 years old, put up a stellar performance under tough rainy conditions to keep up with the hot pace set by Kodaira.