India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Rahil Gangjee got off to a good start on the first day of the inaugural USD 3 million Maybank Championship here today. Bhullar, coming back from an injury which stalled his progress for more than a year, shot four-under 67, while Gangjee carded 68.
Bhullar was tied 16th and Gangjee was 20th. Australian Nathan Holman fired a flawless seven-under-par 64 to seize the first round lead with Filipino ace Angelo Que leading the chasing pack.
However, the other Indians left themselves some work to do in the second round, as the next SSP Chawrasia and Rashid Khan shot 73 each, while Chiragh Kumar was further down with 74. Himmat Rai shot 75, while Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal scored 76 each and Shiv Kapur struggled to 81.
Bhullar, who found every fairway on the front nine of the course and every green on the same stretch, had six birdies and two bogeys. Bhullar’s first bogey came on 11th and he closed with a disappointing bogey on 18th. Gangjee had five birdies and two bogeys and he also had a bogey on 18th.
“To be honest, I played really well today. Could have saved three shots out there. But four-under is a decent opening round. I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities and I think after a long time, I think I hit 16 greens in regulation. I’ve been striking the ball really well and I’m feeling quite positive about this week,” Bhullar said.