Priyanshu best Indian after day 1 at Asia-Pacific amateur golf

The Indian is three behind runaway leader Cheng Jin of China, who shot a course and Championship record-breaking 62. The next best Indian after Priyanshu was the experienced Samarth Dwivedi, who closed birdie-birdie for three-under 67, to be tied 15th, while Karandeep Kochar (69) was 29th and Viraj Madappa

Samarth Dwivedi played a good round of golf   -  The Hindu

Priyanshu Singh, a 19-year-old college student based in the United States, was the best Indian on the first day of the Asia-Pacific Amateur golf championships at the Par-70 Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club.

Priyanshu was five-under three through 14 holes on a day when just over 100 minutes of play was lost because of threat of lightning early in the morning.

Priyanshu, who has played little golf in India over the last three to four years but instead honed his skills in the US, will return in the morning to complete his remaining four holes of the first round and then start the second round.

The Indian is three behind runaway leader Cheng Jin of China, who shot a course and Championship record-breaking 62. The next best Indian after Priyanshu was the experienced Samarth Dwivedi, who closed birdie-birdie for three-under 67, to be tied 15th, while Karandeep Kochar (69) was 29th and Viraj Madappa, the highest world ranked Indian was tied 43rd with Aman Raj at even par 70 each. Veer Ahlawat was two-over after 15 holes.

Priyanshu said: “I saw my biggest event at the Hero World Challenge in Isleworth last December when Jordan Spieth won it. It was inspiring and superb. A friend of mine is a member and she got me the passes. Tiger Woods is my favourite athlete and it was a great experience to just see him play. I loved the whole experience. I have also played at Isleworth, so I enjoyed it even more.”

Having picked up golf in India in Faridabad’s Aravalli Golf Course under Rohtas Singh, Priyanshu shifted to U.S. to combine academics and golf.

"But golf is what I want to do," confessed the shy five-foot-10 golfer, whose parents shuttle between Gurgaon in India and Canada. Priyanshu, who made the Indian team as one of the top-six Indians World Amateur rankings, opened with a bogey, when he missed a short-five footer for par, birdied the next three holes in a row. He added a fourth birdie on seventh and two more on the 11th and 13th.

"I made a bogey on first when I missed a short par putt, but thereafter I hit the ball really close and my approaches were good and it felt good. The course was amazing and it is even more scenic than Pebble Beach which I have seen but not

played on," Priyanshu said.