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Posted at: Oct 13, 2018, 2:02 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2018, 2:02 AM (IST)CIMB CLASSIC

Sharma lights up back-nine, T-14 after Rd 1

Kuala Lumpur, October 11

Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma sank five birdies on the back-nine to card a 5-under 67 in the first round of the CIMB Classic here. 

The 22-year-old is tied-14th, four shots behind surprise leader Bronson Burgoon (63) of USA. A record four Indians are taking part in the only PGA Tour event in Southeast Asia. Gaganjeet Bhullar is tied-26th at 3-under. Anirban Lahiri, who has a good record at TPC Kuala Lumpur, shot an even-par 72. Lahiri started well and was 3-under at the turn, but two double-bogeys on the back-nine saw him slip to tied-56th. Rahil Gangjee shot a 5-over 77 and is 78th.

The 31-year-old Burgoon ended the first day at 9-under, one ahead of Austin Cook. Three players — CT Pan, Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy — are tied-3rd at 7-under. 

Sharma, who is playing all three PGA Tour events in Asia over three weeks, started with a birdie but made a three-putt bogey on the second and never got going on the front-nine. 

It was a different story on the back-nine as he made five birdies, and missed chances from less than eight feet on another couple of holes. “The way I played the front-nine, I would have been happy to just finish with an under-par score,” Sharma said.

“Things just clicked on the back-nine and a 5-under was really a bonus. I am very satisfied with the start. But I think I need to shoot at least a 5-under on each day to be in contention,” he added.

Bhullar was even-par after eight holes after starting from the 10th, and it was a birdie on the 18th hole that kick-started his run. “I am playing very well and hit about 15 greens in regulation,” Bhullar said. — PTI

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