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Derksen hopes to win bet

2011-02-17 17:28

New Delhi - Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen grabbed the clubhouse lead at the fog-hit Avantha Masters on Thursday with a blemish-free opening round that lifted his hopes of winning a bet with his caddie.

The twice European Tour winner ignored a swirling wind to card a six-under 66 for a one-shot advantage over Briton Mark Foster, Argentine Julio Zapata and Darren Beck, who still has five holes to play.

Australian Beck is among 66 players who will return on Friday to complete their rounds after fog caused a delay of more than three hours.

Derksen has no such worries and is already thinking about winning the tournament.

"If things go well this week I have a bet with my caddie that we will take the trophy to the Taj Mahal on Monday," he told reporters at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

"That would be great but I have to win first which is the difficult thing," added the 37-year-old Derksen who held off Ernie Els to win the 2003 Dubai Desert Classic and also lifted the 2005 Madeira Islands Open title.

Jeev Milkha Singh and Rashid Khan posted matching 68s to spearhead the Indian challenge.

Nursing a back injury, the 39-year-old Singh had an eventful round that included finding water, a two-stroke penalty for overlooking a local rule after his ball hit a floodlight tower and a closing eagle on the par-five ninth.

"My iron play was great today and I was feeling good on the putts. The course is in excellent shape but the conditions were a little tricky due to the wind," said Singh.

Defending champion Andrew Dodt of Australia was even-par after seven holes.

Leading clubhouse scores:

66 - Robert-Jan Derksen (NED)

67 - Mark Foster (ENG), Julio Zapata (ARG)

68 - Chapchai Nirat (THA), Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Rashid Khan (IND), Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Richard Finch (ENG), Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR)

69 - Robert Dinwiddie (ENG), Scott Hend (AUS), Maarten Lafeber (NED), Antonio Lascuna (PHI), Peter Whiteford (SCO), Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Sujjan Singh (IND)

70 - Anthony Wall (ENG), David Howell (ENG), Chinnarat Phadunsil (THA), Siddikur (BAN), Jbe Kruger (RSA)

71 - Carlos Del Moral (ESP), Simon Wakefield (ENG), Hideto Tanihara (JPN), Daisuke Maruyama (JPN)

72 - Joel Sjoholm (SWE), Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Scott Jamieson (SCO), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Oskar Henningsson (SWE), Romain Wattel (FRA), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA), Mardan Mamat (SIN), Mars Pucay (PHI), Scott Strange (AUS), Ross McGowan (ENG), Gregory Havret (FRA), Mandeo Singh Pathania (IND)

Reuters