Shiv Kapur gave himself something to cheer about with a bogey-free four-under 67 that also included an eagle in the first round of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open here today.
Kapur, who grappled with illness last year, is the best Indian at tied-10th. Also placed at tied-10 with him was Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra, who has been struggling with his form.
Chopra, a former two-time PGA winner, shot 67 with six birdies and two bogeys.
Philippines’ Angelo Que, who recovered from a slow start, shared the first round lead with Azuma Yano of Japan on six-under-par 65.
Of the other Indians — Rahil Gangjee and Chiragh Kumar — also hit bogey-free and shot three-under 68 to be tied-15th.
Young Shubhankar Sharma and veteran Jyoti Randhawa were tied-39th at one-under 70 each, while Mukesh Kumar and Rashid Khan were tied-52nd at even par 71.
S Chikakrangappa and Gaganjeet Bhullar faltered with 73 each at tied-89th, needing to get a low score to make the halfway cut, while Jeev Milkha Singh had a forgetful day with 75, leaving a lot of work to done.
Que opened with a bogey but fought back with seven birdies to tie with last year’s runner-up Yano at the USD 750,000 event, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
The bubbly Filipino, who is a three-time Asian Tour winner, had a chance to redeem himself after finishing in a share of 11th place in Singapore last week when he double bogeyed the last hole.
Yano, a three-time winner in Japan but not since 2008, took his place atop the leaderboard as he aims to better last year’s second place finish at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open.
Korean star K T Kim, a 13-time champion in Japan, trailed the leaders by one-shot as he shared third place alongside countryman Junggon Hwang and Jbe Kruger of South Africa, who qualified for The Open through the Qualifying Series in Singapore last week.
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