Thursday, 17 March 2016
Day 1 Highlights - Hero Indian Open

Daniel Im believes showing respect to the course was vital to opening up a one-shot first round lead at the Hero Indian Open.

A host of players coming into this week had spoken of needing the correct strategy to tame Delhi Golf Club, which may only measure 6,983 yards but requires accuracy off the tee and a deft touch around the greens due to its narrow layout.

Im was playing in New Delhi for the first time and certainly seemed to get to grips with the challenge, firing an unblemished 65 to get to seven under and lead by a single shot from Jorge Campillo, Nacho Elvira and Prom Meesawat.

The American continued his promising start to the season since coming through the Qualifying School in November, which has seen him make four cuts from six and secure back-to-back top ten finishes in South Africa in January.

The 30 year old made a birdie-birdie start from the tenth and a further gain on the 15th allowed him to turn in 33. Further birdies followed on the first and second and when he chipped in at the seventh and made another birdie on the ninth, he set a morning target that would not be caught.

"There were a couple of times where I almost walked away with a bogey but I made the up-and-down," he said. "I was just cool. I've heard about this golf course so many times prior to this trip.

I came in with a bit of respect. I showed some respect and got some respect back - Daniel Im

"I've played a lot of golf at the beginning of this year in South Africa. The courses were way different from South African courses.

"I like this area where you need to keep it straight and hit good iron shots to have good birdie putts."

Meesawat had been Im's main challenger in the morning session and recovered from an opening bogey to equal his lowest round of the season so far.

The Thai dropped a shot on the tenth but then made gains on the 13th, 14th, 15th 17th, 18th, second and eighth to get to six under. It looked for a long time that he would hold on to second on his own but the Spanish duo of Campillo and Elvira joined him late in the day.

Campillo had a good chance to join Im at the top of the leaderboard on the last but could not add to his birdies on the first, fifth, sixth, tenth, 11th and 17th as he left his putt short.

Elvira started with a bogey on the tenth but four birdies saw him turn in 33 and he made further gains on the fourth, fifth and eighth.

There was then a group of five players in the group at five under, including Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin, who recorded the 12th hole-in-one of the season at the par three fifth.

Indian duo SSP Chawrasia and Sanjay Kumar also recorded rounds of 67, along with Australian Terry Pilkadaris and South Korea's Jeunghun Wang.

Defending champion Anirban Lahiri was in the group a further shot back, three clear of three-time Major Championship winner Padraig Harrington.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1CHAWRASIA, S.S.PIND18-15
T2WANG, JeunghunKOR18-13
T2LAHIRI, AnirbanIND18-13
T4QUE, AngeloPHI18-12
T4DA SILVA, AdilsonBRA18-12
T6HAVRET, GrégoryFRA18-10

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