Bhullar best among Indians at tied-30th in Oman

Gaganjeet Bhullar had three birdies on the front, but gave away back-to-back birdies on 10th and 11th as he finished at one-under 71.

Gaganjeet Bhullar plays a shot. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Gaganjeet Bhullar fired a modest one-under 71 to be placed tied 30th, the best among three Indians on the opening day of the Oman Open golf tournament on Thursday.

Bhullar had three birdies on the front, but gave away back-to-back birdies on 10th and 11th as he finished at one-under 71. He was lying five shots behind the leader, Kurt Kitayama of the US.

Shubhankar Sharma had two birdies against two bogeys while the third Indian in the field, SSP Chawrasia had a rough start with a five-over 77 and will need a strong second round to make the weekend.

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Meanwhile, Kitayama got off to another fast start as he fired a 66 to take the first round lead.

The American, who came through all three stages of Qualifying School in 2018, was a winner in just his third European Tour start at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.

He began that week with a 63 and his opening round at Al Mouj Golf was the fourth time he had gone sub-70 for his first 18 holes in 2019, although it was the first time he had held a first round lead.

Kitayama made an eagle and four birdies to get to six-under and sit a shot ahead of Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato.

Kitayama’s effort was all the more impressive considering he had to tackle the higher winds on the Muscat coast.