Robert-Jan Derksen retains lead at Avantha Masters

Robert-Jan Derksen retains lead at Avantha Masters

NEW DELHI (AP) — Robert-Jan Derksen retained his lead after the completion of the weather-interrupted first round of the Avantha Masters on Friday.

The 37-year-old Dutchman shot a 6-under-par 66 on Thursday before darkness suspended play at DLF Golf and Country Club with 66 players yet to finish the round.

Derksen enters the second round with a one-stroke lead over a group of five players that includes England’s Mark Foster, Australia’s Darren Beck, Iain Steel of Malaysia, Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain and Argentina’s Julio Zapata.

“I’ve got a bet with my caddie that if we win this week we’ll take the trophy to the Taj Mahal, but I need to win first, of course,” Derksen said after his bogey-free round.

Seven players were a shot further back at 68.

Maarten Lafeber of the Netherlands made a hole-in-1 on the par-3 11th before finishing with a 69. He won a new car for his ace.

“It was 160 meters with the wind coming in a little bit off the right,” Lafeber said. “It was going straight for the flag, but we couldn’t tell if it was in or just very close. We were all looking and wondering until the crowd started clapping and jumping around, so then we knew that it was in.”

Jeev Milkha Singh of India could have taken a share of the lead, but he had to take a two-stroke penalty Thursday.

“After hitting the floodlighting tower from the tee on the 13th, I went on to play my second shot from the spot where the ball had landed after rebounding off the pole. That error cost me a two-stroke penalty,” Singh said. “I should have replayed that shot from the tee.”

The $2.3 million Avantha Masters is co-sanctioned by the Asian and European tours.

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