Peter Whiteford (Getty Images)
Peter Whiteford was looking to put last year’s Avantha Masters heartache behind him as the Scot moved to the top of the leaderboard during the early stages of the first round at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort.
The 32 year old was in the hunt for a maiden European Tour victory 12 months ago at DLF Golf & Country Club when he was disqualified during the final round after television viewers spotted his ball move fractionally on the fairway.
However, on his return to India, Whiteford looked to put himself in contention again with birdies at the first, fourth and seventh as he turned in a three under par 33.
That put him alongside 56 year old Senior Tour star Boonchu Ruangkit, Finland’s Jaakko Makitalo and home favourites S S P Chowrasia and Gaganjeet Bhullar.
Thailand’s Ruangkit is a five-time winner amongst the over 50s, but has never taken a European Tour title and completed the back nine in 33 strokes courtesy of three birdies in four holes from the 12th.
The 2008 and 2011 winner Chowrasia was also three under playing the back nine first, as was compatriot Bhullar, while Makitalo birdied three of the first five on the front nine.
They were one ahead of a sizeable group of players on two under, which included European Tour winners David Howell, Martin Wiegele, Oliver Fisher, Pablo Larrazábal and Niclas Fasth.