Friday, Mar 23, 2018 | Last Update : 12:36 AM IST
Ajeetesh Sandhu was the best Indian and the only one in the top-10 and that is an unusual thing when a tournament is played in India.
An Argen-tine and a Spaniard provided the thrills as only they can. Emiliano Grillo, who hit the spotlight in the 2016 PGA season with a win in his maiden Tour appearance before going on to win the rookie of the year award, shot a record-equalling 7-under 65 as he took a 2-shot lead over the field at the Hero Indian Open.
And then there was Pablo Larrazabal, who was woken up “38 minutes” before his tee time by a Tour official, dashed to the course in a courtesy card and proceeded to card a 5-under 67. He was tied with Matteo Manas-serro and Paul Peterson, while Keith Horne and Adrien Saddier were yet to complete the round.
The day’s play could not be completed because it was taking a lot of time to finish the rounds. The tough course meant a lot of rulings and it delayed the proceedings. One could not blame the players because they needed to be careful and I believe a lot of them needed referees to come in to be sure.
Ajeetesh Sandhu was the best Indian and the only one in the top-10 and that is an unusual thing when a tournament is played in India. But that also indicates the severity of the course. I heard he found all fairways and carded four-under, which is a great beginning. He is a talented young man and it will be nice to see him do well.
Meanwhile a lot of the other Indian favourites like Anirban Lahiri (72) and S.S.P. Chawrasia (74) had a mixed bag but I am sure they will bounce back on Friday.
Personally it was a very disappointing day, more so because I gave away so much on the front nine of the course, which in comparison is supposed to be the easier of the two halves. I was already five-over by the time I turned after the front nine. I had just one birdie to show on the front nine and one more on back nine. At six-over it is going to a challenging task to get back in the second round. But one has to give it all.