DIGBOI (ASSAM), NOV 30
Nur Hossain Sardar of Kolkata smashed an amazing seven under 65 at the Digboi Golf Links to take the lead in round one of the IndianOil XtraPremium Masters Golf 2011. Defending champion Shankar Das, who also hails from Kolkata, fired a five under 67 to be placed second.
Nur Hossain Sardar began with a bogey on the first but got back to level par when he picked up a stroke with a 10 feet putt on the third hole. The 30-year-old from Kolkata made the turn at even par and then turned on the heat on the back nine. Nur Hossain came agonizingly close to making a hole-in-one on the 10th when his tee shot landed one foot from the hole. Nonetheless, he managed to salvage a birdie on the 10th and followed that up with another birdie on the 11th.
Nur Hossain then hit a purple patch on the last five holes. This phase began with him making a good up and down for birdie on the 14th. Sardar made it three birdies in a row when he landed his shots within five feet on the 15th and 16th holes. The icing on the cake were Nur’s birdie putts from 15 feet and 12 feet on the 17th and 18th respectively. He thus ended the day with five straight birdies.
Nur Hossain said, “I’m delighted with today’s round as this is the best score of my professional career. I hit it with precision and made all the putts. I didn’t chip that well but made up for that with my putting. I read the greens to perfection on the back nine. I hit my putts firmer than usual and that made all the difference. I’ll now look to build on this opening round over the next three days.”
Defending champion Shankar Das made an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys in his round of 67. Shankar drove the green on two occasions (14th and third) and sank a 15 feet putt on the 12th.
“I was in good hitting form and therefore managed to set up three eagle opportunities. Unfortunately, I could only extract an eagle on one occasion. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic opening round which has raised my hopes of defending my title,” said Shankar.
Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, a five-time winner at Digboi, was in tied third at two under 70 along with the Lucknow duo of Vijay Kumar and Sanjay Kumar and Maniram Sharma of Karnal, Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka, Kolkata’s Nabin Mandal and Delhi golfer Rudresh Sharma.