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Hong Kong, 23 Nov 2017

SSP Chawrasia is round one leader at UBS Hong Kong Open

Shubhankar Sharma in tied second

India’s SSP Chawrasia took the early honours by carding a five-under-65 to take the first round lead at the UBS Hong Kong Open on Thursday.
 
The six-time Asian Tour winner leads by one over England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick and compatriot Shubhankar Sharma after overcoming the tricky windy conditions at the Hong Kong Golf Club in the morning.
 
Starting on the back-nine 11, Chawrasia birdied holes 11, 13, 16 and 18. He showed his accuracy again when his approach at the par five third landed within four feet of the hole where he would birdie again to move to five-under.
 
The Indian dropped a shot on five but recovered quickly with another birdie on nine to stay ahead of the chasing pack at the US$2 million event.
 
Chawrasia said, "I played well today.  I hit the ball well and made some nice putts. Conditions were very tough today especially with the wind and I'm very happy my five-under par today.

"The greens were very firm to be honest. I was just trying to hit the second shot onto the green and get the ball as close as possible to the hole. I’ve been playing well this year and I’ve a good chance of finishing up the year well.
 
"The Order of Merit title is somewhere in the back of my mind. If I finish good here, I can catch Gavin. I don't think about how good the other players are, whether he is a world number one or not. I respect his ranking but when I'm playing, I prefer to focus on my game."
 
SSP is seeking his second win abroad following his first overseas win in the Philippines last year.

Shubhankar Sharma mixed six birdies and two bogeys during his round of four-under-66.

Khalin Joshi was the third Indian with a sub-par round on day one. His 69 placed him tied 19th.

Shiv Kapur was tied 35th at 70 while Rashid Khan was another shot back in tied 47th.

Jyoti Randhawa, Mukesh Kumar and Jeev Milkha Singh were all in tied 70th with sores of 72.

Among the other Indians, Chikkarangappa (73) was tied 89th, Gaganjeet Bhullar (74), Arjun Atwal (74) and Chiragh Kumar (74), were all in tied 102nd, and Rahil Gangjee (75) was in tied 110th place.

Source: Asian Tour
 

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