Rookie Aadil Bedi fired a bogey-free five-under 66 to lie two shots behind the leader, Thai amateur Natthaphat Harnchokchaiskul (64), at the end of the first day of USD 300,000 Thailand Open here on Thursday.
Bedi, whose best Asian Tour finish has been fourth at the recent Classic Golf and Country Club International in September, birdied each of the three Par-5s at the Thai Country Club. He had five birdies, one on the front nine and four on back nine, including three in last five holes.
Bedi was the best Indian, while veteran SSP Chawrasia and in-form Ajeetesh Sandhu recorded three-under 68 each to be tied 12th.
The 19-year-old Natthaphat, playing his first Asian Tour event, is one of the 10 amateurs in the field, and stole the show with a solid seven-under-par 64 to grab a one-shot lead over fellow Thai Phachara Khongwatmai (65).
Natthaphat shot eight birdies against a bogey at the Thai Country Club.
Bedi, 18, in his debut appearance at the Thai Open shares third place with Thaya Limpipolpaibul of Thailand and Soomin Lee of Korea.
Among other Indians, Khalin Joshi (69) was tied 28, S Chikkarangappa (70) and Viraj Madappa (70) was tied 41st and Jyoti Randhawa (71) was tied 56.
Rashid Khan (72) had a rough day and was tied 74, while Abhijit Chadha, Shiv Kapur and Himmat Rai, with 74 each, were tied 107. Jeev Milkha Singh and Aman Raj, with 75 each, were tied 123.
"I played pretty solid. I had a good result back home in India two weeks ago. I came in fifth at Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational event so I am just riding on the good form. I am feeding off the momentum. All parts of the game are right where they should be so I'm looking forward to the rest of the week," said a confident Bedi.
"Things shifted for me from the 12th hole. I made a lengthy putt from over 25 feet and that gave me a lot of momentum heading into the remainder of my round. The season's been alright for me. I have learned a lot since I first started to play on the Asian Tour.
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