News All Articles
Yannik Paul holds one-shot lead after fantastic finish

Yannik Paul holds one-shot lead after fantastic finish

Yannik Paul produced a back-nine birdie blitz to lead the 2023 Hero Indian Open by one shot after an entertaining first round at DLF Golf and Country Club.

The German, who came second at last week's Thailand Classic, continued his fine form on Thursday afternoon as he cancelled out an opening bogey with eight birdies in his next 17 holes to sign for a 65.

Paul finished his round with a flourish, closing with four successive birdies to reach seven under par and overtake home hope Honey Baisoya at the top of the leaderboard.

Morning starter Baisoya had set the early clubhouse target at six under after making eight birdies and a double bogey in his 66.

The 26-year-old sits alone in second, one ahead of Finn Mikko Korhonen on five under, while Indian duo Shubhankar Sharma and Angad Cheema shared fourth spot with Iceland's Gudmundur Kristjansson on four under.

Paul is searching for his second DP World Tour title after winning the 2022 Mallorca Golf Open last October.

He started his round with a bogey at the first but got the shot straight back as he birdied the second.

Six pars followed before Paul got his second birdie of the day at the ninth, lifting his approach to inside five feet and holing the putt.

He made it back-to-back gains from around 12 feet at the tenth before another birdie on the 13th took him to three under.

After holing from ten feet for a birdie at the 15th, Paul got another from long range on the short 16th before continuing his charge with two more gains at the 17th and 18th to hit the front as the sun began to set.

He said: "I obviously played well today. I knew it was a challenging course but I just tried to focus on one shot at a time. 

"I had a great finish - four birdies in the last four - that helps, but tomorrow is a new day so I’ll focus on what I can control and see where I end up. 

"It's my sixth week in a row so I took it pretty easy Monday through Wednesday because after a long stretch you can just feel it here, feel it there. I just played a nine-hole pro-am yesterday afternoon then walked the back nine on Tuesday, just to conserve as much energy as I could because I knew it would be challenging here, mentally as well as with the golf shots. 

“It’s a tricky course, I think you just have to be 100 per cent committed to every shot and 100 per cent focused. 

"I don’t really have a number that I want to get to because that’s tough to control. I’m just trying to stay focused on my process and see where I end up come Sunday."

Read next