HYDERABAD : Delhi's Kapil Kumar, the runner-up at the last PGTI event in Pune, continued his fine form despite injury concerns as he sizzled with a nine-under 61 to take the round one lead at the Golconda Masters 2022 here on Wednesday.
Seventeen-year-old local amateur Milind Soni, playing at his home course, struck a brilliant seven-under 63 to be tied second with Gurugram's Manu Gandas, a three-time winner on the PGTI this year.
Kapil Kumar sank seven birdies and an eagle for a bogey-free round. Kapil Kumar was off to a terrific start with birdies on the first four holes making a couple of conversions from 10 to 12 feet. An eagle on the par-5 eighth followed by a birdie on the ninth took Kapil to seven-under at the turn. Kumar produced a couple of great wedge shots on the 15th and 17th to add two more birdies to his flawless card.
Kapil said, "I've been struggling with a wrist injury since the Pune Open so I just managed to get in one day of practice over the last two weeks. I've been making frequent trips to the physio since the last event as an old injury has been aggravated. Today I kept in mind my good performance in Pune that helped me score well."
Local amateur Milind Soni, who represented India at the Eisenhower Trophy earlier this year, also had a tremendous start to the week. Milind began the week with an eagle-two as he holed his approach from 134 yards on the first hole. With his approach game in top shape, the local lad went on to pick up four more birdies on the front-nine including three tap-ins. Soni made further inroads on the back-nine with birdies on the 10th and 14th. He drove the green on the par-4 14th. The 17-year-old's only blip was the bogey on the 17th where he found the water.
Milind, a two-time winner on the amateur circuit this year, said, "My approach game was top class and as a result I had quite a few tap-in birdie putts. Starting the week with an eagle gave me a huge boost. I wasn't aware of my second shot finding the hole so I was quite pleasantly surprised when I walked up to the first green and found out that it had landed in the hole. I was quietly confident at the start of the day as this also happens to be my home course."