Ajeetesh Sandhu shot a two-under 69 and was the best Indian at tied 22nd in the first round of the Panasonic Open Championship here on Thursday.
Defending champion Rahil Gangjee (70) was tied 34th, while S Chikkarangappa and Khalin Joshi carded even par 71 each to be tied 54th. Shiv Kapur (72), at tied 73rd and Viraj Madappa (74), will have their work cut out if they are to make the cut on Friday.
Korea's Yikeun Chang continued to ride on his rich vein of form as he signed for an opening six-under-par 65, thanks to a closing eagle, to trail by one shot.
Chang, who broke through in Chinese Taipei three weeks ago, stumbled with a double-bogey on fifth and a bogey on sixth but bounced back strongly with four birdies in a row from the ninth.
He added more birdies on 14 and 17 before sinking a 15-footer on the last for eagle. He was eight-under for his last 10 holes.
Japan's Toshinori Muto returned with a bogey-free 65 and he was later joined by Shugo Imahira and Chinese Taipei's Lu Wei-chih at the Higashi Hirono Golf Club.
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