x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Advantage for Robert-Jan Derksen in Avantha Masters

The Dane grabbed the clubhouse lead at the fog-hit Avantha Masters in New Delhi yesterday with a blemish-free opening round 66.

Robert-Jan Derksen grabbed the clubhouse lead at the fog-hit Avantha Masters in New Delhi yesterday with a blemish-free opening round that lifted the Dutchman's hopes of winning a challenge with his caddie.

The twice European Tour winner ignored a swirling wind to card a six-under-par 66 for a one-shot advantage over Mark Foster of Britain, Julio Zapata of Argentina and Darren Beck, of Australia, who still has five holes to play.

Beck is among 66 players who will return today to complete their rounds after fog caused a delay of more than three hours.

Derksen has no such worries and is already thinking about winning the tournament.

"If things go well this week I have told my caddie that we will take the trophy to the Taj Mahal on Monday," he told reporters.

"That would be great but I have to win first, which is the difficult thing," added the 37-year-old, who won the 2003 Dubai Desert Classic and also lifted the 2005 Madeira Islands Open title.

Jeev Milkha Singh and Rashid Khan both posted 68s to spearhead the Indian challenge.

Elsewhere, Kim In-kyung shot a course record-equalling nine-under-par 63 to take the lead in the first round of the season-opening LPGA Thailand.

The South Korean started with a birdie and picked up nine more at the Siam Country Club despite damp conditions from downpours earlier in the week.

"I started with a birdie and then kept making birdies," she said. "My coach and I work on my game and it really helped today. It was a good start so I couldn't be happier."

Kim equalled the course record shot by the 2007 winner Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Prammanasudh in 2009 and the defending champion Ai Miyazato.

"I didn't think about the record, I just wanted to play well," Kim said. "I should do this more often."