Himmat best Indian at tied ninth in Queen’s Cup

SAMUI (Thailand), June 14:
Himmat Rai overcame a tough front nine to come back with a one-under 70 that placed him inside top-10 at the end of the first round of the Queen’s Cup at the Santiburi Samui Golf Club here today.
Rai, who broke through for his first win last year in Singapore, was the best placed Indian at tied ninth, while Anirban Lahiri, a two-time winner on Asian tour, shot even par 71 to be tied 18th.
Two other Indians, Chiragh Kumar and Ajeetesh Sandhu, had a rough day. Chiragh shot a five-over 76 and was tied 81st while Sandhu struggled even more during his round of 78 to be tied 109th.
Rai was three behind co-leaders, the 56-year-old Boonchu Ruangkit and young 17-year-old Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, who shot 67 each. Ruangkit is a five-time winner on Asian Tour and a multiple winner on European Seniors Tour, while Tabuena, a silver medallist from 2010 Asian Games, has a professional best of fourth place at Taiwan Masters in 2011.
India’s Rai said, “I think I played well. Controlled the shots well. I put the ball in play today and that’s what I was planning on doing. I stuck to the game plan and it worked out. That’s pretty much how you need to approach this course.
“You have to be patient, more than normally. Golf in general, you have to be patient but this course requires tremendous amount of patience and a solid game plan.” (PTI)