Gurgaon - Spain's Pablo Larrazabal had a "wild" start to the Indian Open when
his alarm failed, but the near-disaster inspired him to within two shots
of the lead in the opening round on Thursday.
Clubhouse leader Emiliano Grillo said he played "almost perfect golf"
to card seven-under 65 in Gurgaon before play was suspended for bad
light, preventing 24 players from completing their round.
Larrazabal made an impression with five-under to be tied second with Paul Peterson of the US and Italy's Matteo Manassero.
The Spaniard had a scary start to the day when he woke up just 38
minutes before his tee-time after his new phone reverted to the time
back in Europe.
A timely wake-up call from a European Tour official, "a 10-second
shower" and a mad car dash got Larrazabal to the DLF Golf and Country
Club just before his 7:00 am start time.
"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 10 or 15
minutes, it was really wild," said Larrazabal.
"Shooting under par on this golf course, it's unbelievable," added the 34-year-old.
Home favourite and young golfing sensation Shubhankar Sharma had an
ordinary start after shooting one-over at a course considered among the
toughest on the Asian and European tour.
"I didn't start the event the way I would've liked to. Nonetheless,
I'm happy with my comeback on the front-nine and the way I finished the
round," said Sharma.
But the 21-year-old Sharma had reason to smile after receiving an
invite from Rory McIlroy to play a practice round with the legend at the
Masters next month.
Other noted Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri and Jyoti Randhawa carded
even-par 72 to be tied 37th while defending champion SSP Chawrasia had a
forgettable day at two-over.