Jeev, Kapur make modest starts; Chawrasia recovers well

Jeev Milkha Singh said he was happy with his first-round performance.   -  PTI

Veteran Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh closed with two birdies in last two holes for a two-under par 70 round and was tied 43rd to make a modest start at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6, here today.

Also shooting cards of 70 each were Shiv Kapur, slowly finding his form back, and Chiragh Kumar. They were all five shots behind leaders, local Perth man, Brett Rumford and Mark Foster.

Meanwhile, another Indian SSP Chawrasia, whose form has slipped since winning two titles last year, showed great recovery over last 10 holes and from three-over through eight, he finished at one-under.

S. Chikkarangappa and Jyoti Randhawa also carded 71 each to be tied 56th, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (72) and Rahil Gangjee (75) were further down in tied 80th and tied 128th places respectively.

“I’m pretty happy with my round as I’ve been working quite hard especially with my mental coach who has helped me a lot. I tried to do what he told me to do on the golf course today and I finished well with birdies in my closing two holes for a two-under, which is good. I’m comfortable on this golf course and I love how it plays,” Jeev said.

Chawrasia admitted: “I was disappointed after the first seven holes when I was three-over. I bogeyed from fairway on third and on seventh. I had a birdie putt from just over 10-feet, but I missed that and the return for bogey. In between I bogeyed sixth, but then I decided to forget everything and play somewhat aggressive. That worked and I birdied, ninth, 11th, 13th and 15th to finish at 71.”

It is a historic gold event with the introduction of a novel format which sees the top 24 players after 54 holes making it through to a six-hole match play format this week.

The top eight will move into second round of matchplay, while the other 16 will play in a knockout and the eight winners will play the next round of matchplay against top 8 from stroke play.

Australia’s Brett Rumford, who hails from Perth, and England’s Mark Foster made their early moves when they fired matching six-under-par 66s to grab the first round lead.

The 37-year-old five time winner on European Tour, Rumford, who suffered an injury in 2015, has been slowly making his way back through 2016 and showed fine form with three-under 33 on each side of the Lake Karrinyup Country Club.

Foster, 41, whose sole win came in 2003, had seven birdies before a bogey on the 18th to take a share of the lead.

Johannes Veerman of the United States, who has been playing on Asian Development Tour, carded 67 to be among the 10 players that also included Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and compatriot Casey O’Toole bunched in third place.