Germany’s Marcel Siem eagled his final hole en route to an eight-under-par 64 today to secure a one-stroke lead at the end of the opening round of the inaugural Avantha Masters.
The 29-year-old, aiming for only his second win on the European Tour, produced a flawless round that included six birdies before nailing an eagle putt from almost 20 feet on the ninth hole – his last – to edge ahead of the rest of the field.
Chinese Taipei’s Chan Yin-shin also carded an eagle on the ninth and signed for a seven-under 65 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Siem’s last victory on the European Tour came six years ago at the Dunhill Championship and he is hoping today’s impressive performance could signal a change in fortunes.
“I played very solid today, didn’t make a bogey and then finished it off nicely with a great eagle at the last,” he said. “The iron play was really good and I putted well.
“I cannot remember the last time that I shot 64 to be honest with you. It must be at least three years ago so I am pretty happy with that. It’s definitely my best round for a few years.”
England’s John Parry was in touch with the early pacesetters after shooting six birdies against one bogey for a five-under 67.
The 22-year-old from Harrogate was tied third alongside compatriot Barry Lane, Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen, Lam Chih Bing of Singapore, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, Andrew Dodt of Australia and India’s Rahil Gangjee.
“It was pretty solid out there today but nothing spectacular,” said Parry. “It’s a decent start and I am pleased with how I am playing.
“I probably got a little bit lucky at points out there today but nothing outrageous – it was a pretty fair score.”
Fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher started well and held a share of the lead midway through his round but a double bogey on the par-five 14th saw him drop into a share of 26th place on two under.
Ireland’s Darren Clarke finished one under following a 71 today while world number 59 Jeev Milkha Singh – the highest ranked player at the tournament - endured a disappointing round with three birdies and as many bogeys leaving him eight shots off the pace.