Home Sports Yusuf Ali grabs early lead at Digboi Golf

Yusuf Ali grabs early lead at Digboi Golf


Digboi (Assam) : Kolkata’s Yusuf Ali was the surprise leader as he opened a three-shot lead after shooting a score of six-under par 66 in the first round of the IOC XtraPremium Masters 2007 at the Digboi Golf Links here.

Mukesh Kumar, Raju Ali Mollah, Rahul Ganapathy and Mohd Islam also had a good day with scores of three-under 69 and were in tied second place in the PGTI-run event.

Yusuf Ali raced into the early lead with an incredible bogey-free round of six-under 66. Yusuf teed-off from the 10th hole and sank birdies on the 11th and the scenic 16th.

The professional from Kolkata had an even better time on the front nine as he made four more birdies on the 2nd, 5th, 6th and 8th.

“I always play well at this course. I had a great round today and had I not missed two close putts on the 7th and 14th, my score would have been even better,” said Yusuf.

Veteran Mukesh Kumar trailed Yusuf Ali by three strokes. His round of three-under 69 included four birdies and one bogey. After teeing-off from the 10th, the golfer from Mhow in Madhya Pradesh made birdies on the 14th, 3rd, 4th and 7th.

He dropped a bogey on the par five 15th. The three-time champion at Digboi feels at home on this course.

“This is definitely one of my favourite courses. I have had great success here in recent years. I hope to do well this year as well. Today my hitting was good but putting was not up to the mark,” said Mukesh reflecting on his first round.

Kolkata’s Raju Ali Mollah was also tied in second after a three-under 69. Mollah who teed-off from the back nine sank birdies on the 13th, 3rd, 5th and 9th and dropped a bogey on the 1st. “The course is not easy and I was glad that I hit the fairways quite regularly,” said Raju.

The other two in tied second were Rahul Ganapathy and Mohd Islam. While Ganapathy had six birdies and three bogeys Mohd. Islam recorded five birdies and two bogeys.

Even though Ganapathy had a remarkable round, he was not satisfied with his putting. “I missed some simple birdie chances and didn’t putt well. If I had a better day with the putter I could have had an outstanding score,” said the professional from Mysore.

Anirban Lahiri too had a good outing with a two-under 70. The joint runner-up at the last edition of the event, Vikrant Chopra came up with a consistent performance to card an even par 72. More importantly, the other runner-up from the last edition and the man in form, Shamim Khan did not have a very impressive round as he shot a four-over 76.