Gallacher and Suri share spoils in Indian Open

SABC News Stephen Gallacher Twitter @golfingindian - Gallacher and Suri share spoils in Indian Open

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher and American Julian Suri share the leader after the first round of the Indian Open golf tournament in Delhi. The pair returned opening rounds of 67 for a one stroke lead over a chasing pack of four players including South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

Gallacher, one of the early starters at the DLF Golf and Country Club, made a solid start; despite a bogey on the par three third hole, he rolled in four birdies to make the turn in 33. The Scot continued with that momentum on his inward nine, picking up back to back strokes on the 10th and 11th holes.

A double bogey on the par four 16th slowed his progress, but he consolidated his round with an eagle on his final hole, finishing with a five-under-par 67.

Suri, who claimed his maiden European Tour win at the Made in Denmark tournament two years ago, was able to match the Briton’s score in the afternoon session. The American mixed two bogeys with seven birdies, including one on the par five 18th hole, for his 67.

Gallacher and Suri have a single stroke lead over a group of four golfers tied for third place, led by South African Bezuidenhout. Bezuidenhout, who finished tied for second place at the Qatar Masters earlier in March, made the turn in even par, but he picked up five birdies on his back nine to keep himself in the hunt with a 68.

Bezuidenhout’s countryman, Erik van Rooyen who had his breakthrough win on the Sunshine Tour in 2017 at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship, also kept himself in contention. The Cape Town-born golfer had a fairly inconsistent opening round in the Indian capital. He managed to roll in eight birdies, but had to settle for 69 after dropping five shots, including a double bogey on the par four 11th hole.

Van Rooyen is two strokes behind the leaders tied in group on three-under-par.

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