Mewat, Haryana, 06 Oct 2015

C Muniyappa storms into first round lead with a breathtaking nine-under-63 at BILT Open

C Muniyappa of Bengaluru stormed into the lead in round one of the BILT Open 2015 with a breathtaking nine-under-63 at the Classic Golf & Country Club on Tuesday. Delhi’s Arjun Singh fired the next best round of six-under-66 to be placed second at the Rs. 1 crore event.

C Muniyappa fired an astonishing 11 birdies against two bogeys on his way to a score of 63 on day one. The former Indian Open champion, fresh from a top-5 finish in Jaipur last week, had an early hiccup after failing to recover from the bunker on the second for a bogey. Muniyappa, however, made up for the early lapse with a superb recovery from the bunker on the next hole where he sank a 20-feet birdie.

Muniyappa was relentless from there on with four more birdie conversions from a range of 15 to 30 feet and a chip-in birdie on the eighth. The reticent 38-year-old currently lying 20th in the Rolex Rankings, also landed it within five feet on four occasions to set up birdies. His only blemish on the back-nine was a missed par putt from three feet on the 13th.

Muniyappa said, “This is an ideal start to the week. It gives me a solid foundation to build on over the next three rounds. My putting was outstanding today and I also created a lot of opportunities for myself by landing it close.

“I didn’t have a great start to the season but I’ve come back well at the start of the second half. I had a birdie-birdie-eagle run on the last three holes last week to finish tied fourth in Jaipur. I shot some low scores there. I feel I’ve carried the good form into this week as well.

“There are a few things going for me at this stage. Firstly, I’m starting to get comfortable with my new set of clubs. Besides my caddie Gautam, who was on the bag for me during my Indian Open win in 2009, has helped me set realistic targets for myself for each round. Earlier I used to aim for low scores in every round but now there is a change in approach thanks to Gautam’s advice.

“The success of fellow Bangalorean Anirban Lahiri, who was my room partner on the Asian Tour for three years, has also inspired me. I recently read an article where Anirban spoke about the importance of controlling your emotions and not getting too ahead of yourself during tournaments. I picked up that piece of advice from him and worked on it,” added Muniyappa, a winner of two professional titles.

Arjun Singh’s bogey-free 66 placed him second on the opening day. The seasoned Arjun knocked in two 15-footers for birdie and landed it within six feet to create two other birdie opportunities.

“It’s a good start to the tournament. One needs to hit maximum fairways to score well here as the rough poses more problems now as compared to previous years. If the wind is up, it’s going to be tough. I hit a good tee shot to leave myself a six feet birdie putt on the 17th and also converted a couple of long putts,” said Arjun, a former winner on the PGTI.

Third place was occupied by Delhi’s Shamim Khan who returned a five-under-67 that featured six birdies and a bogey. Shamim, who has won twice at the Classic Golf & Country Club in the past, was on fire on the greens as he sank three birdie putts from a range of 15 to 35 feet. He also left himself a tap-in for birdie on the third.

Meerut’s Sudhir Sharma, Australian Kunal Bhasin, Bengaluru’s Trishul Chinappa and Abhijit Singh Chadha of Chandigarh shared fourth place with matching scores of four-under-68.

Defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka was in tied eighth at three-under-69.
Gurgaon-based Arshpreet Thind, formerly associated with the Classic Golf & Country Club, made good use of familiar conditions to shoot a two-under-70 to be placed tied 12th.

About Avantha 
The Avantha Group’s entities in diversified sectors include Crompton Greaves (power transmission and distribution equipment and services), BILT (paper and pulp), BTTL (Bilt Tree Tech Limited), The Global Green Company Limited (food processing), Biltech Building Elements Limited (infrastructure), Avantha Power (energy), Avantha Ergo (Life Insurance), Avantha Business Solutions Limited (IT and ITES), Jg Glass (glass containers). With a global footprint, the Group operates in 90 countries with more than 25,000 employees worldwide.
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About BILT
Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT), part of the Avantha Group, is India’s largest manufacturer of writing and printing (W&P) paper. More than 35% of India’s demand for coated wood-free grades rolls out of BILT’s state-of-the-art plant. BILT is a vertically integrated player and has a presence across most elements of the paper value chain. It has a multi-tiered distribution network with over 440 distributors in India, with most of the volume being sold by exclusive distributors. In addition, the Company also enjoys a strong market presence in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.

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About PGTI:

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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