Gaganjeet Bhullar made a welcome return to form with an error-free opening round of six-under 65, putting him in tied-fourth place at the USD 300,000 Thailand Open here today.
The 29-year-old seven-time winner on Asian Tour had six birdies against no bogeys but was still three shots behind the sole leader, local prospect Rattanon Wannasrichan who shared the lead with Janne Kaske of Finland after scintillating rounds of nine-under 62 each.
Two shots behind them was Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.
Of the 13 Indians in the fray, Himmat Rai (69) was T-21, while Shiv Kapur, Khalin Joshi and rookie Arjun Prasad were T-32 with 70 each.
Four others Shankar Das, Chiragh KUmar, Jeev Milkha Singh and Rahil Gangjee carded even par 71 each to be T-48. S Chikkarangappa, Sujjan Singh and Shubhankar were T-72 with scores of 72 each.
Bhullar was the toast among the Indians.
"The game's feeling good. I hit the ball very good and I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities out there. I putted very well too," he said.
"I holed about four to five crucial putts which helped. I started pretty solid. I birdied the first and third hole so that gave me a lot of confidence and some momentum heading into the round."
The Thailand Open, inaugurated in 1965, is also the first leg of the newly launched Panasonic Swing, which provides a bonus pool across five designated tournaments and it includes the Panasonic Open India to be held later this year.
The 21-year-old leader Rattanon needed only 20 putts as he had 12 consecutive one-putts from the 16th hole after he started his round from the 10th hole.
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