Kochi, 31 Jan 2018

Amardip Sinh Malik takes pole position on day one of PGTI Cochin Masters presented by CIAL Golf Club

Youngster Akash Modi in second

Noida’s Amardip Sinh Malik was the quickest off the blocks in the second event of the 2018 PGTI season, the PGTI Cochin Masters presented by CIAL Golf Club. Malik, a two-time winner on the PGTI, fired an exceptional five-under-67 in round one of the Rs. 40 lakh event on Wednesday to establish a one-shot lead.

Mumbai-based 21-year-old Akash Modi, playing only his second season as a professional, recorded a four-under-68 on the opening day to lie second.

Amardip Sinh Malik, who won on the PGTI in the second half of 2017, began the day with a birdie on the first and followed that up with two more birdies on the front-nine to make the turn at a promising three-under. Malik’s bogey on the 10th did not upset his applecart as he went on to make a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th to the 16th.
Malik said, “I struck it well today and kept landing it close, so there’s not much to be critical about as far as today’s game is concerned. However, I did have two eagle opportunities on the 15th and 16th which I missed.

“It’s great to be back in Kochi once again. The CIAL Golf Club course poses quite a challenge as it’s getting tougher every year with the trees growing. One needs to be a good ball-striker to succeed here. It’s also a good test of someone’s ability to shape the ball. The stretch from the 10th to the 13th is one to watch out for as it requires you to move the ball both ways off the tee.

“I won last year after a three-year gap, but thereafter I struggled with my game and didn’t end the season well. Since then I’ve been working on a few aspects of my game with my coach and things are beginning to fall in place. But I’m really not expecting much for the next two months.”

Akash Modi, who made his professional debut on the PGTI last year, shot the best round of his career to make an impression on day one. Modi was one-under through 14 holes but his round really took flight with the three birdies on the last four holes.

Akash said, “I sank a 40-footer for birdie on the ninth which gave me the momentum. My putts were falling from the very start. When I made a good par on the first and birdied the second, I knew I was onto something special today. The fact that this is my best score on the PGTI, gives me a lot of confidence going into the next three rounds.

“I was disappointed to slip on the second day of the PGTI Qualifying School earlier this month and as a result miss my full card. I’m now working on the mental aspects of my game and the results are beginning to show.”

Delhi’s Honey Baisoya, Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha, Bengaluru’s Syed Saqib Ahmed, Pune’s Sameer M Shaikh and Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow were bunched together in tied third place at three-under-69.

Shamim Khan of Delhi, the reigning PGTI Order of Merit champion, was in tied 16th with a score of 71 while defending champion Mukesh Kumar of Mhow posted a 77 to be tied 70th.

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Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.

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