Golf: Mani Ram dominates round one of Gurgaon Open with 9-under 63

Nuh, Apr 17 (IANS): Karnal’s Mani Ram dominated round one of the Gurgaon Open with a nine-under 63 to lead by two shots here at the Classic Golf & Country Club.

Bengaluru-based C Muniyappa fired a seven-under 65 to be placed second on a windy day that saw the sun and the clouds playing hide and seek.

M Dharma, another Bengaluru golfer and Chandigarh’s Rajiv Kumar Jatiwal were a further shot back in tied third place.

Mani Ram, currently 13th on the PGTI Ranking, started his birdie run on the third hole, followed by a long conversion on the fourth and an accurate approach that led to a tap-in on the sixth. He then rose further on the leaderboard with three more birdies on the eighth, ninth and 10th.

The 42-year-old, a three-time winner on the PGTI Feeder Tour, Mani Ram's lone bogey on the 11th was an aberration as he came roaring back with a chip-in for birdie on the 13th and eagle and birdie on the next two holes where he left himself putts within five feet.

He saved par on the 16th with a 30-feet conversion but missed out on a birdie from five feet on the 18th that could’ve seen him equal the 2009 course record of 62 jointly held by Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat and India’s Anirban Lahiri.

"I couldn’t have asked for a better opening round. It’s my career-best score. My confidence has been sky-high this season due to my good hitting form. The putting has been a bit up and down, but today even my putter was hot. It was after my third birdie of the day on the sixth that I felt I could go really low today. The rest of the day then went as per my plan and that helped me get to 63.

"I’ve been feeling good about my game this year and that is evident from my two top-10 finishes. The fact that I missed the cut in the last two events didn’t worry me too much because I knew my game had been trending well," Mani Ram said.

C Muniyappa’s 65 was an error-free round as he made five birdies on the back-nine and followed that up with two more on the front-nine.

Rajiv Kumar Jatiwal and M Dharma produced rounds of 66 which were also bogey-free efforts.



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Title: Golf: Mani Ram dominates round one of Gurgaon Open with 9-under 63

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