Rohana reigns in Hero Honda Indian Open
Lankan Anura Rohana shot one of the rounds of his life to take the
first round lead in the Hero Honda Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club
The former amateur star carded an eight-under-par 64 for a one stroke
lead over Australian Craig Warren. Rohana, best known for claiming
the silver medal in the Asian Games in 2002, made a grip adjustment
at the start of the day and it paid dividends as he amassed an eagle,
seven birdies and a bogey.
"I had been slicing the ball a bit so I strengthened my grip
and thankfully I hit the ball really well," said the man from
Rohana began his round in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event on the
10th and rattled off birdies on 13, 14, 15, 17 and 18 to make the
turn in a sizzling five under. The makings of an outstanding round
were completed when he holed a 20 yard bunker shot on the par five
eighth for an eagle.
"That was something special. I just hope I can put a decent
round together tomorrow. I am playing early and have to set my alarm
for 5am so it's going to be tough," added the Sri Lankan.
Remarkably, the last time Rohana played Delhi Golf Club, in a domestic
event on the Indian PGA Tour earlier this year, he shot a 63 on
the final day. On that occasion he had been nine over par for three
rounds before recovering all his shots on the last day.
Tournament favourites Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal from India
returned rounds of 69 and 70 respectively.
Randhawa, said: "I have not been playing too well in the last
few events. So I am happy the way things went. There were two bogeys,
but by and large I am happy with my game."
Atwal, the first Indian to earn a US PGA Tour card, seemed fine
with his round saying: "I am still in touch and there are lots
more to come over the next three days. I had one double bogey with
a lost ball on the third hole and that was the only blemish. I missed
a lot of birdie putts inside 10 feet."
Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant from Thailand,
a two-time winner this year, started well with a 68. "It's
not really my kind of course as you need to hit the ball straight,
which is something I do not do off the tee. My short game came good
though," said Thaworn.
Defending champion Mardan Mamat from Singapore fired a 71, helped
by birdies on 16 and 18. He said: "I played quite well. Hit
a bad a tee shot on the first but managed to get par. After that
it was steady going. I just kept the ball in play, and tried to
hit the green in regulation. I am very pleased with one under because
I did not strike the ball well. The feeling is not right and I was
not focusing very well."
October 27, 2005