Chinese Taipei: Seasoned SSP Chawrasia, fighting hard to get out of the miserable run this year, shot a pleasing two-under after a fightback over the last 10 holes in the first round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Thursday.
Chawrasia, who has missed 15 cuts in 21 starts this season, was three-over through the first seven holes and was staring at another bleak week, when his putter started working. Starting from the tenth, he bogeyed 11th, 13th and 16th to be 3-over. Then he birdied 18th to turn in two-over and on the second nine he birdied first, third, fourth and sixth to finish at 2-under 70.
"It felt really good to come back with a decent card after a long time. I have been having various problems with my game, but hopefully I can build from here," said Chawrasia, whose best this year has been Tied-6th at Take Solutions in Bengaluru.
Among other Indians, in-form Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shiv Kapur shot 1-under 71 each to be Tied-13th, while Jeev Milkha Singh shot even par to be T-22nd.
Viraj Madappa (73) was T-41st, while Shubhankar Sharma, who came late after receiving the Arjuna Award in New Delhi, played without a practice round to shoot 74 and was T-50th. S Chikkarangappa and Chiragh Kumar carded 75 each, while Honey Baisoya (76), Khalin Joshi (77) and Rashid Khan (77) were further behind.
South African Justin Harding continued his dazzling form by carding a four-under-par 68 to share the opening round lead with Lionel Weber of France and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines.
Harding, the first player to win consecutive events on the Asian Tour this season, fired one eagle and four birdies against two bogeys to take his share of place atop the leaderboard at the fabled Taiwan Golf and Country Club, which is celebrating its centennial year in 2018.
Australian Maverick Antcliff trails the leading trio by one shot in fourth place while local hero Lin Wen-tang, Indian Chawrasia and Chinese ace Liang Wen-chong were among those bunched in fifth following matching rounds of 70s.
Updated Date: Sep 27, 2018 21:04 PM