Golfer Moss leads Rai at India Masters

Bengaluru, Oct 28 (IANS) American golfer Greg Moss rediscovered some of his best form after carding a scintillating 10-under-par 62 to take the opening round honours, two strokes ahead of second placed Himmat Rai, at the India Masters here on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Moss sank 10 birdies against no bogeys to grab the opening lead over local hope and one-time Asian Tour winner Rai at the Eagleton-The Golf Village.

Title holder S. Chikka of India, compatriot Rashid Khan and Japan’s Masaru Takahashi were among the six players bunched in third place following matching 65s at the $120,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Order of Merit leader Casey O’Toole of the United States returned with a 68 to tie in 17th position at the event which is the ADT’s first and only stop in India this season.

Moss rode on a hot putter for a stunning round which matched his personal best 18-hole record set in the first round of the Charming Yeangder ADT in Chinese Taipei earlier in March.

“I putted really well, especially on the back nine. I played with Casey, the Order of Merit leader who is also my roommate this week, and I was just trying to keep up with him out there,” said Moss.

Starting from first, Moss reeled in five straight birdies starting from the sixth before adding another four successive ones from the 12th hole. His highlight came on the par-four 17th where he sank a 35-footer for his last birdie of the day.

“This is my second time in India and my first time at Eagleton. I am really happy with how I played. I hit the ball good and I didn’t make any mistakes. Hopefully I can keep it like that for the next few rounds,” added Moss.

Rashid, who started from 10th, was delighted with his commendable round where he fired one eagle and six birdies against a lone bogey.

“I hit the ball really good. I am very happy with how I played. My iron-shots were really good but my short game could have been better. I left a few putts out there,” said the 24-year-old Indian, who nailed a five-wood to 10 feet for his eagle on the par-five fourth hole.

“The scores will be very low this week. You need to hit as many fairways as you can to score out there. I guess my experience of playing on the Asian Tour helped a lot.”

Leaderboard:
62 – Greg Moss (USA)
64 – Himmat Rai (IND)
65 – Rashid Khan (IND), Trishul Chinnappa (IND), N. Thangaraja (IND), Masaru Takahashi (JPN), S. Chikka (IND), Shubhankar Sharma (IND)
66 – Ashok Kumar (IND), Vikrant Chopra (IND), Naman Dawar (IND), Anura Rohana (SRI)

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