Koh Samui (Thailand), June 18 (IANS): Chiragh Kumar turned out to be the best Indian golfer on the first day of the $300,000 Queen's Cup as he carded three-under 68 to share the third place at the par-71 Santiburi Samui Country Club here on Thursday.
Chirah scored birdies on the fourth, sixth, 10th, 17th and 18th holes against two bogeys on the second and 11th to share the spot with six others in the Asian Tour event.
Thailand’s Atthaphon Sriboonkaew fired a five-under 66 to seize the opening round lead, while Sri Lanka's Mithun Perera, who was flawless with five birdies through 16 holes starting from the 10th, dropped a shot on the eighth to slip out of lead for second place.
Bengaluru-based Khalin Joshi was the second best Indian at joint 22nd place as he scored 71. Digvijay Singh, Rashid Khan and S.S.P. Chawrasia went through a poor round and each of them scored two-over 73 to be at tied 42nd.
Himmat Rai scored six-over 77 to finish joint 107th, while Rahil Gangjee and S. Chikka underwent abysmal round of nine-over 80 and both were tied at 133rd place. angad cheema finished the opening round at the joint 146th place.
However, leader Atthaphon did struggle initially and dropped a shot on the first hole. But he kept his cool to bounce back strongly with six birdies, which included three consecutive birdies starting from the fifth.
Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, a two-time winner of the Queen’s Cup in 2012 and 2014, reigning Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Prayad Marksaeng, also a previous winner of the Queen’s Cup in 2013, were amongst those bunched in 10th place following matching 69s.
Chiragh, 31, was delighted to put up a commendable round after rubbing off some good vibes from leader and playing partner Atthaphon.
“I played well today and my putting was good. I played with Atthaphon and he was in his top form. I managed to rub off some good vibes from him," Delhi-based Chiragh said in a release.
"It definitely helps when someone in your group is playing well. I am happy with my round."