6th March, New Delhi: Delhi’s Mohd. Wazir and Srilankan No. 1 Amateur Nadaraja Thangaraja both shot level par 72 to share the lead on day one of Toyota 7th NCR Cup at the Delhi Golf Club, Delhi. Patna’s Sahil Kumar Singh, Chandigarh’s Angad Cheema and local Honey Baisoya – all shot one-over 73 for the 2nd position to finish 3rd, 4th and 5threspectively while Noida’s Jasjeet Singh, Delhi duo Saurabh Bahuguna and Shubhankar Sharma tied for 6th place at 2-over 74. Kapurthala’s Ashbeer Singh Saini carded a round of 3-over 75 to end the day on 9th position.
Mohd. Wazir, who was inspired to pick up golf by his uncle Ali Sher in 1996, fired some brilliant birdies on 1st, 3rd, 8th and 18th while made bogeys at 2nd, 5th, 7th and 12th after getting hit by his partner’s ball on the 11th hole. The 27-year-old Wazir mentioned, “People started calling me second Ali Sher when I took this game and I also became no. 1 junior of the country. Unfortunately, I had to leave the game because of a fracture in my foot for 6 years but I am happy that I am back and hopefully will be turning pro by the end of this year and make my caddy father proud one day.”
Playing for the first time at the Delhi Golf Club, Thangaraja made the full use of his yesterday’s practice round experience while he returned with 2 birdies on 9th and 14th. A little confusion in reading the distance of fairways made Thangaraja hit two bogeys on 7th and 17th and he ended with level par round. After the round he said, “I got a fair idea of using the right clubs on this course yesterday so I was only using 3-wood or 4 – iron today while I always use the driver on other courses. Though, the greens are playing pretty tough for me, I am still confident of coming with an under-par score tomorrow.”
Angad Cheema, runners-up of last year’s NCR Cup, started off well as he hit a birdie on 5th, made 3 bogeys on the back nine on 10th, 14th and 16th while he birdied the finishing 18th hole to go in with a positive frame of mind in tomorrow’s round. He said, “I played very decent golf today but I realized one thing that if you miss one good tee shot on this course, you are going to drop atleast 2-3 bad shots. I heard from other players that greens were quite bumpy four days ago but the course superintendent has done a great job to make it perfect for our level.”
In an international team championship played concurrently, the leading team was ONGC in which Angad Cheema (73) and Saurabh Bahuguna (74) played for the team total of 147 while Oil India became second which represented by Ashbeer Singh Saini (75) and Honey Baisoya (73) for the total of 148 in a tie along with PSPB in which Jasjeet Singh (74) and Gagan Verma (74) both totaled 148.
Sri Lanka was the best foreign team to finish with 5th position at 155. Portugal finished with at 162 for 8th position, Pakistan finished 10th at 167, Nepal was 13th at 172 and Korea was 14th at 187.