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Thursday, 08 March 2018
Day 1 Highlights - Hero Indian Open

Emiliano Grillo carded a course-record equalling 65 before darkness fell to set the target on day one of the Hero Indian Open.

The Argentinian is an invite this week having only played two European Tour events outside of the Majors and World Golf Championships since 2015 and was making the best of his opportunity at DLF Golf and Country Club.

The New Delhi layout is one of the toughest on Tour - with the severity of the course meaning that 24 players could not finish their rounds due to the number of rulings required throughout the day.

Grillo appeared to have few problems, however, posting eight birdies to get to seven under and lead the way by two shots from Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal, Italian Matteo Manassero and American Paul Peterson.

Frenchman Adrien Saddier was also five under with one hole to complete, alongside South Africa's Keith Horne who was through 16.

"You have no idea how difficult the course is," said Grillo. "I had to play almost perfect golf to shoot a seven under. I think anywhere else it would have been close to a 59 or something. It was definitely a magnificent round of golf.

"I’m very happy with the way I handled myself out there. It was very tough and I was able to make some good putts and hit the fairways when I needed to."

Larrazábal's 67 was an incredible feat containing nine birdies after he almost missed his tee-time due to his alarm not going off and was woken just 38 minutes before he was due to tee off.

Grillo made a birdie-bogey start but another gain on the fourth and a hat-trick from the seventh meant he turned in 32.

A smart approach into the 11th had him in a share of the lead and when he put his tee-shot on the 13th to three feet, he led on his own.

The 25 year old had to make smart up-and-downs from the greenside rough on the 14th and sand on the 16th and, when he took advantage of the par five last, he was two ahead.

I had to play almost perfect golf to shoot a seven under. I think anywhere else it would have been close to a 59 - Emiliano Grillo

Larrazábal needed a wake-up call from a European Tour official and a mad dash in a courtesy car to make his tee-time but he showed no ill effects once he reached the course.

The four-time European Tour winner birdied the 11th but double-bogeyed the 15th after a four-putt, bouncing back with a hat-trick of birdies before the turn.

A three-putt on the first threatened to stall his progress but he made five birdies in a row from the fourth - including a holed bunker-shot on the fifth - before making another three-putt on the ninth.

Manassero - who finished in a tie for third here last season - birdied the 12th and 14th but made a double-bogey on the 15th before going bogey-birdie to turn in 36.

He then came to life on the front nine, birdieing the first, chipping in on the third and adding further birdies on the fourth and sixth before a ten-foot left-to-righter on the seventh had him in a share of the lead.

He dropped a shot after finding trouble off the tee on the next but regained it on the ninth.

Peterson birdied the seventh, eighth and ninth to surge into a share of the lead after making gains on the 11th, 16th and first and bogeying the sixth.

Horne was bogey-free in his 16 holes, while Saddier had a single blemish on his card.

Scotsman Marc Warren was four under alongside India's Ajeetesh Sandhu, with Ricardo Gouveia, Sébastien Gros, Matt Wallace and Jeunghun Wang in the group a further shot back.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WALLACE, MattENG18-11
2JOHNSTON, AndrewENG18-11
3KIM, SihwanUSA18-8
T4LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-7
T4SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-7
6GRILLO, EmilianoARG18-5

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