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Modest start for young Indian trio in Manila

The Indian trio of S Chikkarangappa, Khalin Joshi and Shubhankar Sharma had a modest start at the weather-disrupted ICTSI Manila Southwoods Golf Championship on Wednesday.  Chikka, who is third on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit with three Top-10s in four starts, shot one-over 72, while Khalin and Shubhankar carded even par 71 each. Khalin and Shubhankar are tied 42nd, while Chikka is 57th. 

Chikka is looking for his third ADT Tour. Thailand’s Natthapong Niyomchon, Taichi Nabetani of Japan and local prospect Mhark Fernando carded identical six-under-par 65s to share the opening round lead at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club’s legends course.

The talented Thai rode on a superb front nine 31 highlighted by five birdies, including four-in-a-row from the third, to lead by one shot alongside newcomer Nabetani and Fernando, who posted a bogey-free round. Malaysia’s Gavin Green, Thai duo Pijit Petchkasem and Pannakorn Uthaipas trailed the leading trio in fourth place while a host of seven players, including Japan’s Masaru Takahashi and newly-turned professional Jobim Carlos of the Philippines, shared seventh following matching 67s at the USD 60,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Play was suspended at 3.53 pm local time due to lightning threats before resuming at 5.10 pm. It was later abandoned for the day at 6.30 pm due to fading lights. 

A total of six players will return to Manila Southwoods to resume their first rounds at 7.30 am on Thursday morning with the second round to start at 7.00 am as originally scheduled.
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