Aditya Bhandarkar takes the opening round honours at Pre-Qualifying III
Pune’s Aditya Bhandarkar returned a five-under 66 to take the opening round honours at Pre-Qualifying III of the TATA Steel PGTI Qualifying School 2024 being played at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur.
Aditya Bhandarkar, returning to competitive golf after a year, began the day with birdies on the first two holes including a 15-feet conversion on the first hole to shake off the nerves. The 35-year-old then added two more birdies and bogeys each on the front-nine. Bhandarkar holed it from the rough from 50 yards out for birdie on the ninth.
Aditya picked up another three birdies on the back-nine thanks to two more outstanding wedge shots and an 18-feet conversion.
Bhandarkar said, “I had some nerves at the start today as I was playing my first competitive round after one year. I just told myself to make good contact on the first tee shot as that would help settle the nerves. I managed to do that and the pressure disappeared by the third hole. The birdie on the ninth hole was the highlight of my day as I made an exceptional recovery after landing it in the hazard.”
The three players tied in second place with scores of 67 were Dhruv Bopanna, amateur Hoshi Rakesh Yadav and Czechia’s Stepan Danek.
Out of a total field of 132, the top 25 players (+ ties) will qualify from Pre-Qualifying III, a 36-hole event, for the Final Qualifying Stage. This is the last of the three Pre-Qualifying events.
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. Srinivasan H R (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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