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2-min read

Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee off to a fine start in Malaysia

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 on Thursday.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:February 18, 2016, 8:29 PM IST
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Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee off to a fine start in Malaysia
Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Kuala Lumpur: 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 on Thursday.

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.

Speaking of his last year, he added, "It was a ligament tear, grade two back in October 2014. I had to sit out for three to four months as my hand, left wrist, was in a cast. I started playing in the beginning of 2015 but it took me a while to get adjusted to the short game as that's the area where you need your wrist the most. It took me a while to gain my confidence back."

"The last one year was pretty much a healing period of my injury. I started feeling healthy again as I worked on my fitness in the offseason. It's good to be in the red numbers and always good to talk to the media."

"I'm feeling quite positive with my short game now and it's really good to be back in the tournament scene. I need a few more rounds in the red numbers and get my confidence back. Working really hard on my game right now."

The 24-year-old Holman needed only 27 putts, including nine one-putts, at Royal Selangor Golf Club in the event jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

The colourful Que, nicknamed 'Human Highlighter' for his bright sense of dressing, also sank seven birdies but a lone bogey on the 16th hole saw him end the day alongside Jorge Campillo of Spain, Frenchman Alexander Levy, American Peter Uihlein and English duo Tommy Fleetwood and Danny Willett, who is world number 13.

Thailand's Prom Meesawat, Thongchai Jaidee, Korean duo K T Kim and Soomin Lee and Filipino Miguel Tabuena, who nearly withdrew due to food poisoning, were amongst those lying a further shot back with 66s.

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