Gurgaon: A brilliant four-under 68 helped hitherto-unknown Toran Bikram Shahi of Nepal to enjoy a narrow one-stroke lead after the opening round of the one crore DLF Masters at the pristine DLF Golf & Country Club here Thursday.
Defending champion Himmat Singh Rai, Kolkata's SSP Chowrasia and Chandigarh golfer Randhir Singh Ghotra were a stroke behind at tied second.
As a result of a 40-minute fog delay in the morning, round one could not be completed Thursday due to fading light and six golfers out of 120 are yet to complete round one.
Defending champion Himmat Rai was one shot off the pace at 3-under 69. (Reuters)
The first round will resume Friday morning and will be followed by the second round immediately after.
Toran Bikram Shahi had a solid start to the day as he made five pars in a row and followed that up with a good up and down from the bunker for birdie on the sixth.
The 34-year-old from Kathmandu helped himself to a birdie on the ninth thanks to a splendid approach shot. Toran landed it within three feet to set up his third birdie of the day on the 10th hole.
The Nepalese golfer moved to four-under for the day after another birdie on the 11th and though he dropped a couple of bogeys on the 12th and 14th, he ensured he didn't let the advantage slip with birdies at the 13th and 18th 0holes.
Shahi, who resides in Greater Noida when in India, said, "My hitting and putting was immaculate today. I just had two bad shots on the back nine that led to bogeys. I landed it close through the day and didn't miss any putts except for one on the 12th. I'll look to consolidate on this wonderful start."
Himmat Singh Rai, who was playing at his home course, had a solid start as he birdied the second, seventh and ninth to make the turn at three-under. He added another birdie on the 10th before dropping his first bogey of the day on the 12th.
The Delhi-based professional sank a 15-footer for birdie on the 14th. His final bogey of the day came on the 16th.
"I kept the ball in play and was in good control of my game. My hitting was good as I landed it pretty close. It's a solid start to the week," said Himmat, a winner on the Asian Tour.
SSP Chowrasia started off with a double bogey on the first hole but made a brilliant comeback with an eagle on the sixth and four more birdies thereafter to end up in joint second at three-under-69.
Ghotra joined Rai and Chowrasia in tied second. Ghotra made four birdies against a bogey.
Ajeetesh Sandhu of Chandigarh was placed fifth at two-under-70.