TAKE Solution Masters: Thammanoon Sriroj clinches the lead

Veteran Thai golfer Thammanoon Sriroj put up a stirring display to take the lead at the end of the first stage of the TAKE Solutions Masters golf tournament in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Thammanoon Sriroj in action in the first round of the TAKE Solutions Masters golf tournament on Thursday.   -  SUDHAKARA JAIN

Thailand's Thammanoon Sriroj rolled back the years with a vintage performance in the first round of the TAKE Solutions Masters golf tournament, at KGA course here on Thursday.

Sriroj, whose last Asian Tour victory came in the 2004 Tianjin TEDA Open China, carded a scintillating nine-under 62 to take the sole lead.

The 49-year-old is four shots ahead of India's Feroz Singh Garewal and four others who are tied for second.

Sriroj started the round with five straight birdies, and didn't look back. His only slip came in the par-4 seventh hole, where a poor tee shot veered way left. He recovered quickly, making a birdie in the next par-3 hole.

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"I usually struggle on this course, because it is very tight and the driving needs to be precise. Even today, my driving was not great, but I putted well. After securing birdies on the first five holes, I felt very confident," Sriroj said.

The Thai golfer - a regular on the Asian Tour from 2009 to 2014, before poor performances cost him his card - was happy to be in the spotlight once again.

Young Indian hope Feroz had a good day at the office, sitting alongside the Thailand duo of Danthai Boonma and Y. Sunadit, Zimbabwe's Scott Vincent and Argentina's Miguel Carballo in second. The 21-year-old Feroz, who finished fifth in the 2014 Youth Olympics, came into his own on the back-nine, finding the greens regularly.

Local lad Khalin Joshi (4-under 67) is tied-seventh. Defending champion Poom Saksansin of Thailand sits in a lowly tied-64 after an even-par round.

The scores (top seven)

62: Thammanoon Sriroj (Tha); 66: Feroz Singh Garewal, Danthai Boonma (Tha), Scott Vincent (Aus), Y. Sunadit (Tha), Miguel Carballo (Arg); 67: P. Settee (Tha), Om Prakash, Jake McLeod (Aus), Antcliff Maverick (Aus), Khalin Joshi, Anura Rohana (SL), V. Arnond (Tha).

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