Black Mountain sponsored players Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand and Swedish star Rikard Karlberg posted matching one-under-par 71s in the opening round of the SAIL-SBI Open in India on Wednesday.
Jazz, who lives in Hua Hin, produced two birdies and one bogey at the challenging Delhi Golf Club where players are often caught off guard by its tight fairways.
Having enjoyed a solid 2013 Asian Tour season where he finished 30th on the Order of Merit, Jazz will need to rely on his battling spirit to narrow the gap on the leader Rashid Khan of India, who posted a sensational 61.
Karlberg was tied with Jazz in 39th position after mixing his card with four birdies against three bogeys at the venue where he won two Asian Tour titles in 2010.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski took charge at the PGM Sime Darby Harvard Championship with an opening six-under-par 66 on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
Kokocinski, who trained at Black Mountain earlier this year, returned a bogey-free card highlighted by six birdies to lead the season-opening ADT event.
The young Swede showed he had overcome the disappointment of missing out on an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School last month with his flying start. He enjoyed a relatively good season on the ADT in 2013 where he claimed a total of five top-10 results.
He is determined to play his way onto the main Tour by excelling on the ADT, which is rewarding the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for 2015.
“I played solid today. I didn’t make any bogeys and I’m very happy with how I played. It’s a pity I didn’t manage to secure my Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School but I’ve moved on from there. I’ll continue to work hard and better my game. Hopefully I can finish well this week,” said the 22-year-old.