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Bibek, Kunal share top slot on Day One
- Jamshedpur boy 7th in Tata Steel Jharkhand Junior Challenge in Golmuri

Calcutta lads Bibek Sardar and Kunal Naidu shot identical four-over par 75s to share the top slot on the opening day of Tata Steel Jharkhand Junior Challenge at Golmuri Golf Course on Wednesday.

Udayjit Bhalotia, who won the Tolly Juniors Challenge title in Calcutta last week, is placed third after he submitted a card of six-over par 77.

He is followed by the trio of Hassan Rahman Khandokar, Rajvir Randhawa (both from Calcutta) and local lad Sharif Khan, who shot an eight-over 79 in category A and B.

Jamshedpur boy Shamim Edu is tied seventh, along with Calcutta’s Karan Verma, who finished the day at ten-over 81.

It was Kunal who took the early lead on Bibek as he pinned a birdie on the Par 43rd hole after both players had made a bogey on the first hole.

Bibek rolled in a birdie on the very next hole to go level but dropped two strokes on the Par 3 5th hole to trail by two.

Both matched each other for the next three holes before a second birdie by Bibek cut the lead to half. Things became a close affair when Kunal made a bogey on the Par 3 10th hole before another double bogey on the Par 4 15th hole by Bibek made him lose ground and trail by two strokes again.

However, Bibek did not give up the fight and had a par-birdie-par finish to Kunal’s par-bogey-par which made sure that both of them will begin the final round on Thursday on an even keel.

“It was quite a good day for me. Though things turned tough, I managed to score well when it mattered the most. Would like to give my best,” Bibek said later.

Category C was dominated by Sandeep Kumar Yadav, who led Rajib Ali and Abhikanks Basu by four strokes, carding a seven-over par 78 with six bogeys and one birdie on the Par 5 9th hole. Local lad Irhaam Zahayr is placed fourth with a score of twenty nine-over par 100.

Jharkhand Junior Challenge is the seventh leg of Tata Steel East Zone Feeder and Sub-junior Tour. Jamshedpur’s Beldih golf course hosted the first edition, followed by Golmuri.

The third and fourth legs were held at Royal Calcutta Golf Course and Tollygunge Golf Course, respectively. The fifth and sixth editions were again played in Calcutta before the seventh returned to Golmuri.

The final eighth leg is scheduled at Royal Calcutta Golf Course from September 2 to 4. The national finals is likely to be staged in Jamshedpur in the first week of November.


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