Manuel Elvira claimed the first round lead at the Duncan Taylor Black Bull Challenge after setting a new course record in a professional event at Karnataka Golf Association with a nine under par round of 63.
The 26-year-old’s six birdies on the front nine meant he made the turn at six under par, before four more birdies and a single bogey coming in put him in pole position heading into the second round in the European Challenge Tour’s first event in India for ten years.
The Spaniard continued his impressive start to the season, which has seen him climb into the top 20 on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, as he moved one-stroke ahead of Welshman Oliver Farr who occupies second place on eight under par.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about the course record, but I just wanted to make that final putt to reach ten under par. Unfortunately, it didn’t go in but I’m really happy with my round today.
“Everything was on point with my game today. I put myself in position off the tee, hit some really good approach shots and then managed to hole my putts and make some birdies.”
Elvira was pleased with his opening round and believes a smart approach is paramount to successfully navigating the tree-lined layout in Bangalore.
“This is a course where you have to be in position,” he said. “If you miss the fairways then you are going to struggle because there are so many trees. If you are in the fairway then you definitely have some birdie opportunities which is nice.
“I’m going to stick to the game plan for the rest of the week. I will be aggressive where I can but also be conservative when I have to which means I’ll look to attack the pins that are accessible but otherwise I will just hit the middle of the green.”
Nine players share third place on five under par, including four-time DP World Tour winner Matteo Manassero, Englishmen Steven Brown and Ashley Chesters, Swedes Joel Sjoholm and Henric Sturehed, Italian Stefano Mazzoli, Germany’s Velten Meyer and Indian duo Aman Raj and M Dharma.
The second round will get under way at 6:40am local time, with Elvira teeing it up alongside Indian Amrit Lal Lubana and Sri Lankan N Thangara at 11:55am.