Jeev Milkha Singh had a blistering start as he finished as co-leader at seven-under 65 with Gregory Bourdy of France, even as his fellow Indians struggled on a tough wet and windy opening day at the Irish Open.
Jeev, who had seven birdies in first ten holes at the event that made a return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1953, will begin his second round later today and will be among the late finishers.
Shiv Kapur (74) and SSP Chowrasia (78) struggled in the tough conditions, even as Jeev had finished his round before bad weather hit the venue.
Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, the three Major Champions whose success has helped the game grow in Northern Ireland had the biggest galleries but were unable to break 70.
On a day when the tournament was hit by a 95-minute break on account of a storm, the toast was Jeev.
“The atmosphere and the feel to the golf course is fantastic. When you have so many people cheering and watching you, I think you feel great,” said the 40-year-old.
Before the tournament, Clarke had presented Jeev with a bottle of 21-year-old Bushmills single malt whisky, but he is keeping that until he can share it with his father Milkha Singh, who lost out on an Olympic 400m medal in a photo-finish in 1960.
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