Kolkata Classic: Chikkarangappa, Chiragh in joint lead

Ikramuddin Shah, Feroz Singh Garewal, Om Prakash Chouhan and Mukesh Kumar shared the third spot on 69, while 11 players were tied for the seventh place on 70.

Chiragh witnessed a roller coaster back nine, comprising four birdies, an eagle and a bogey, before joining Chikkarangappa at the top of the leaderboard.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

S. Chikkarangappa and Chiragh Kumar carded an identical four-under 68 to be in joint lead after the first round of the Kolkata Classic championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club course here on Tuesday.

Ikramuddin Shah, Feroz Singh Garewal, Om Prakash Chouhan and Mukesh Kumar shared the third spot on 69, while 11 players were tied for the seventh place on 70.

Armed with his old putter, which has earned him 10 professional titles, Chikkarangappa experienced an eventful round, consisting of seven birdies, an eagle and five bogeys.

The Bangalore golfer, who holed from about 80 feet for an eagle on the par-five 15th and had some long birdie putts, was not really concerned about dropping five shots, including four in a row from the fifth hole.

“Even though I had some close misses, I putted so well almost after a year. I cannot believe it. After trying to find a back-up putter, I finally went back to the old one. I had a good finish in the Indian Open and had a fine round here,” said a thrilled Chikkarangappa.

Chiragh witnessed a roller coaster back nine, comprising four birdies, an eagle and a bogey, before joining Chikkarangappa at the top of the leaderboard.

Chiragh showcased a good all-round game despite slipping a bit on second and 17th holes. On the 15th, the Delhi golfer covered more than 210 yards off his second shot and putted from about five feet for an eagle.

Two-time Indian Open champion Chawrasia was tied-18th on one-under 71, while Rashid Khan was joint-29th on his one-over score.

The scores: S. Chikkarangappa and Chiragh Kumar 68; Ikramuddin Shah, Feroz Singh Garewal, Om Prakash Chouhan and Mukesh Kumar 69; N. Thangaraja, Mithun Perera, Sujjan Singh, K. Harish, Deepinder Singh Kullar, Harendra Gupta, Gaurav Pratap Singh, Shamim Khan, Sanjeev Kumar, Digvijay Singh and Arjun Sharma 70; Shankar Das, Ranjit Singh, Sudhir Sharma, Daman Naicker, SSP Chawrasia and Mohammad Sanju 71.