Emiliano Grillo of Argentina carded an opening seven-under-par 65 to take the clubhouse lead at the US$1.75 million Hero Indian Open on Thursday.
After a birdie and a bogey at his opening two holes, the one-time PGA Tour winner racked up seven birdies before signing for a 65, which ties the course record at the Gary Player layout of the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Grillo, 76th on the Official World Golf Ranking, currently leads by two shots at the Hero Indian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Paul Peterson of the United States carded a 67 for a share of second place along with Italy’s Matteo Manassero and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal.
Peterson, who won his first Asian Tour title in Myanmar this year, had a near flawless round, carding six birdies against a lone bogey. The 29-year-old was pleased with how he bounced back with three consecutive birdies after dropping a shot at the sixth hole.
2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Green of Malaysia overcame jet lag to sign for a 69 and a share of ninth place. The 24-year-old, who played in Mexico last week, dropped three shots through five holes but recovered magnificently in the rest of his round with two eagles, three birdies and just one bogey.
Eight other players share ninth place, including Asian Tour players Nicholas Fung of Malaysia and Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand.
Play was suspended due to darkness. 24 players will return on Friday morning, 7am, to complete round one.
Did you know:
- Emiliano Grillo ties the course record with a 65, which was set by Gavin Green in 2017.
- He won the 2016 Frys.com Open on the PGA Tour and the 2015 Web.com Tour Championship on the Web.com Tour.
- Grillo played at last year’s CIMB Classic in Malaysia and finished tied-54th.
- Paul Peterson won his maiden Asian Tour title this year at the LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open.
- Before Myanmar, Paul Peterson’s last win was in 2016 at the Czech Republic on the European Tour.
- The American took 69.58 strokes per round in 2017, which is the lowest stroke average on the Asian Tour.
- Peterson, a southpaw, earned his Tour Card at the 2014 Qualifying School. He went on to finish a credible 22nd on the Asian Tour Order of Merit that year.
- Pablo Larrazabal nearly missed his tee time. The tournament administrator had to call the hotel to wake him up.
- Gavin Green is the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion. He is the first Malaysian in Asian Tour history to win the merit title.
- He finished second at last year’s Hero Indian Open, seven shots behind the champion.
- Green is the first amateur to win an Asian Development Tour (ADT) title following his victory in 2014. The ADT is the feeder circuit of the Asian Tour.
- Nicholas Fung won for the first time on the Asian Tour at the 2017 Queen’s Cup. He dedicated the victory to his father, who is a constant source of inspiration throughout his golf career.
- In 2012, Panuphol Pittayarat nearly forced a playoff with Richie Ramsay and Thaworn Wiratchant at the Hero Indian Open if not for a bogey at the last hole.
Emiliano Grillo (Arg) First Round 65 (-7)
I almost had to play perfect golf out there. It’s a very difficult golf course. I’m very happy with the way I handled myself out there. It was very tough and I was able to make some good putts and hit the fairways when I needed to.
I had, I think, 26 putts and that helps anyone’s round out there. Hopefully I can keep rolling them in. I’ve just got to keep the ball in play, that’s what matters around here.
The par save on 15th was a rollercoaster. Then, on 16th, I got a little bit unlucky and hit the rocks on the bunker and it went pretty far on a bad lie. But I was able to make the putt coming back in there. It was very important to close with a birdie because I was playing very well going into the last hole. Just got to keep going.
You have no idea how difficult the course is. I shot seven-under-par, but I think anywhere else it would have been close to a 59. It was definitely a magnificent round of golf. Every tee shot, every second shot, you don’t want to miss it in the wrong place.
Paul Peterson (Usa) First Round 67 (-5)
I’m really happy with today’s round. Four-under-par was my goal today, so to one up that was nice. It felt like it was nice to get out in the morning. There was not much wind out there, and I felt like the pin locations were pretty accessible today. I have a feeling that they are not going to be as nice over the next three days. It was good to get out in front of that.
I made a bad swing there on the sixth hole. Then, to bounce back with three birdies to finish the day was big. It’s funny how sometimes a bogey can kind of catapult you to make a few coming in, so I was happy I was able to bounce back from that.
I’m still hitting a lot of greens, really happy with consistency from tee to green and I was able to roll in a couple of putts, so it was great.
It’s unbelievable (the course). Some of the tee boxes changed from last year as I remember. It just seems like even off the fairway it’s getting a little bit more brutal with some of the fescue grass that they have got. So, you just have to be in control of your golf ball and be really, really patient. I think that will be a good recipe.
It’s just good to start off with some momentum. To be able to carry that going into the next few days, I’m really happy to be in the spot that I’m at. I’m feeling confident with my game.
Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) First Round 67 (-5)
My lovely new iPhone went back to Spanish time overnight and I woke up at the hotel 38 minutes before my tee-time.
Thanks to Dorothée, the secretary of the European Tour, who called me in my room and said ‘Pablo, you’re playing in 38 minutes, you must wake up and go to the tenth tee’.
I woke up, had a ten-second shower and I ran and had a courtesy car waiting for me. I arrived at the course 25 minutes before my tee-time. My heart was pumping big time, I was very nervous. I think the courtesy car made a world record from the hotel to the golf course in a couple of minutes, a ride that can take ten or 15 minutes, it was really wild.
I started with a birdie on 11 and then I four-putted 15, then birdied 16, 17 and 18 to shoot two-under-par on the back nine – that is very, very good. Then a three-putt on the first but I kept playing well and birdied four to eight, and then another three-putt on the ninth. One four-putt, two three-putts, nine birdies on this monster is quite unbelievable.
Gavin Green (Mas) First Round 69 (-3)
It was a pretty slow start of me. I’ve hit good tee shots, but I just didn’t good second shots. I got into the groove later in the round, after the birdied the sixth hole and eagled the eighth hole. That got me into a momentum a bit.
I hit good shots with my long iron. Throughout the round, I just kept the ball in play and didn’t do anything crazy. I’m just aiming to hit fairways and greens, and make putts. I made a 20-foot birdie at the 14th hole, which was satisfying.
At the 18th, I hit a good three wood, and then a good five wood; I just went for it. I’m happy with my round considering my jet lag. I flew in on Tuesday. I’ll just adopt the same approach tomorrow, hopefully with a more solid start.
Nicholas Fung (Mas) First Round 69 (-3)
We started early and I think that’s an advantage. I teed off at 7.30am, and there were no winds at all. I was just aiming to keep the ball in play all the time. It doesn’t matter if the approach shot is long. It is most important to keep your ball on in play here at this golf course.
I’ve hit it well and I’m happy with three-under-par. The holes from 14th to 18th are the most difficult and most important in many golfers’ opinion. I three putted and bogeyed the 14th, birdied the 15th, bogeyed the 16th and birdied the 18th. Overall, I played even-par for those five holes, which I think is good. The most important thing to do is to score on the front nine. Bogey is not a bad score, just don’t go beyond that.
Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) First Round 69 (-3)
To score a three-under-par 69 here is very satisfying for me. And, to be bogey free anywhere is nice, especially here on this challenging golf course. I struck the ball well today. I also had two great up-and-downs on holes 14 and 16.
After winning the Indonesian Open last year, I’ve been playing golf with plenty of confidence. Right now, I’m just enjoying my game and looking to improve every aspect my game. Nothing has changed. I have the same routine, same practice and I’m still grinding every day.
I’ll be adopting the same approach tomorrow. I’ll just keep the ball in play and I’m not going to try anything too funky. It’s a “place” golf course. You have to place the ball in the right positions on the fairways and greens.
Scores after round 1 of the Hero Indian Open 2018 being played at the par 72, 7379 Yards DLF GcC course (am – denotes amateur):
65 – Emiliano GRILLO (ARG).
67 – Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP), Matteo MANASSERO (ITA), Paul PETERSON (USA).
68 – Marc WARREN (SCO), Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND).
69 – Nicholas FUNG (MAS), Ricardo GOUVEIA (POR), Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS), Sebastien GROS (FRA), Gavin GREEN (MAS), Shaun NORRIS (RSA), Matt WALLACE (ENG), Jeunghun WANG (KOR).
70 – Prayad MARKSAENG (THA), Thomas BJORN (DEN), James MORRISON (ENG), Sihwan KIM (USA).
71 – Jamie DONALDSON (WAL), Danthai BOONMA (THA), Edoardo MOLINARI (ITA), CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), Soomin LEE (KOR), Aaron RAI (ENG), Matthias SCHWAB (AUT), Joost LUITEN (NED), Wade ORMSBY (AUS), Arjun ATWAL (IND).
72 – Scott JAMIESON (SCO), Khalin JOSHI (IND), Andrew JOHNSTON (ENG), Darren CLARKE (NIR), Clement SORDET (FRA), Erik VAN ROOYEN (RSA), Kurt KITAYAMA (USA), Jarin TODD (USA), Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND), Jinho CHOI (KOR), Honey BAISOYA (IND), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), Daniel IM (USA), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Ashun WU (CHN), Stephen GALLACHER (SCO), Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA).
73 – Oliver FISHER (ENG), Shubhankar SHARMA (IND), Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Scott FERNANDEZ (ESP), Gregory HAVRET (FRA), Yikeun CHANG (KOR), Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA), Robert ROCK (ENG), Jason SCRIVENER (AUS), Marcus FRASER (AUS), Yashas CHANDRA (am, IND).