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Kapur and Khalin tied-44th in New Zealand Open


Press Trust of India Queenstown (New Zealand)
Indian golfers Shiv Kapur and Khalin Joshi shot an even par 71 each to be tied-44th at the end of the opening round of the 101st New Zealand Open here on Thursday.
Korea's Joohyung Kim, who pipped Kapur to win his maiden Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open last year, underlined his growing stature as he took the opening round lead with a seven-under-par 64.
Among other Indians Ajeetesh Sandhu and Viraj Madappa shot one-over 72 each to be Tied-60th while both Aman Raj and Chiragh Kumar carded 74 and were Tied-105th.
Kapur was three-over after seven, but did well to get back even par by the end of the day, while Joshi had two birdies and two bogeys in his 71.
Australia's Ben Eccles, who received a late entry after being a reserve for the tournament, also showed his good form by carding a 65 to share the second place with compatriots Wade Ormsby and Brad Kennedy.
It was a welcome return to form for Ormsby, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit. The three-time Asian Tour winner started his season with a win in Hong Kong but missed consecutive cuts in his last three events on the European Tour.
Kim had six birdies, an eagle on 10th and just one bogey on 12th.
"I'm really enjoying myself as a professional golfer. Being only 17, travelling and playing in tournaments like the New Zealand Open, it's really a huge honour," Kim said.
The Korean won three times on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) to earn his promotion to the Asian Tour in 2019. He then went on to clinch his breakthrough victory in India last November to become the second youngest professional player to win on the Asian Tour at 17 years and 149 days.
Defending champion Zach Murray of Australia posted an opening 68 at the Millbrook Resort to stay four shots behind Kim to share the 11th place.

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First Published: Feb 27 2020 | 8:08 PM IST

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