Thursday, April 04, 2013


New Delhi, April 4: Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing hopes his opening round performance will spark a career revival after he carded a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of the first round lead with Australia’s Wade Ormsby and Kieran Pratt at the US$300,000 Panasonic Open India on Thursday.
S.S.P. Chowrasia brought the local cheers when he emerged as the leading Indian with a 69 to take fourth place while Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit, a five-time Asian Tour winner, is among the seven players tied for fifth place on 70 at the Delhi Golf Club.
After suffering the disappointment of losing his Asian Tour card last season when he finished 72nd on the Order of Merit, Lam is determined to regain his place among the region’s elite.
“Losing my Tour card last season was disappointing but I hope to make it up this season with performances like this,” said Lam.
Playing on country’s exemption status this season, Lam rediscovered his form that led him to his lone Asian Tour victory in 2008.
“It wasn’t easy out there. It was the most windy round that I’ve ever played in at Delhi Golf Club. The winds were swirling and I got lucky quite a few times today. This is my best score at Delhi Golf Club,” said Lam, who traded six birdies against one bogey.
“I’ve been coming here for so many years and I’ve played so many tournaments out here, so much so that I’ve now learnt how to manage my way around this golf course very well,” added the Singaporean.
Meanwhile Pratt is hoping his second victory will come his way again after last victory in Myanmar last year.
“I’ve been building a lot of confidence with my ball-striking and that’s pretty important around Delhi Golf Club.  It has been a while since my last win and you get that itch where you want to win again,” said Pratt.
Starting on the back-nine 10th, the Australian got his campaign underway with three birdies on holes 11, 14 and 18.
An eagle-three on the par-five first then propelled him to the top of the leaderboard where he held on to the lead before closing with a flawless 67.
“Everything worked for me today. I holed a lot of putts and hit several good shots. I played the par-five pretty well and I guess that was the key today,” said Pratt.
While Lam and Pratt are chasing their second win, Ormsby is eyeing his breakthrough on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its 10th season this year.
Ormsby birdied the par-three 12th before marking his card with more red numbers on the 14th and 18th holes.
After making the turn in 34, he continued his birdie run on the first and sixth holes.
“I played well. Anytime you can shoot under-par on this golf course, I’ll be pretty happy. This course suits my game. Given my size, I can’t hit it too far so I’ve to try to hit as many fairways as I can,” said Ormsby.
Chowrasia is aiming to reproduce his winning form at the same venue where he earned his career breakthrough in 2008.
The two-time Asian Tour winner held off a fierce challenge from an elite field to win the Indian Masters then and is looking for a same response this week.
“I am happy with the way things are, though I could have had a better score today. I played quite well and had some long putts, like the 25-footer on the fourth,” said Chowrasia.
“The conditions were not all that easy. There was wind on almost all holes and one has to be careful off the tee. The greens were excellent, though I three-putted once. I feel I’m on the right direction,” added the Indian.
The top-three players at the Panasonic Open India will be extended invitations to the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation, in Osaka, Japan in September.
The Panasonic Open India will be beamed live throughout four days on the Asian Tour Media’s global television platform which reaches over 200 countries and 650 million homes.


Par 72 Yardage 6,935
67 - Wade ORMSBY (AUS), Kieran PRATT (AUS), LAM Chih Bing (SIN).
70 - Adam GROOM (AUS), Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA), Jay BAYRON (PHI), Chiragh KUMAR (IND), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Angad CHEEMA (IND), Sanjay KUMAR (IND).
71 - Vinod KUMAR (IND), Anura ROHANA (SRI), Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND), Sam BRAZEL (AUS), Gerry NORQUIST (USA), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Amardip MALIK (IND), SIDDIKUR  (BAN), Mithun PERERA (SRI), Matthew STIEGER (AUS), Panuwat MUENLEK (THA), David LUTTERUS (AUS), KOH Deng Shan (SIN), Digvijay SINGH (IND), Shiv KAPUR (IND), Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA), GULFAM  (IND).
Selected scores
72 - Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND)
73 - James Byrne (Scotland) (T39)
78 - Oliver WILSON (ENG)



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