New Delhi: Chiragh Kumar fired a flawless eight-under 64 to emerge as the sole leader after the opening round of the $1.25 million Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club on Thursday.

Chiragh slammed in as many as eight birdies, including an 18th hole birdie, to top the leaderboard, pushing Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-Hong, Ross Bain of Scotland and Myanmar's Zaw Moe, who were sharing the lead till the last hole with a score of seven-under 65, to joint second spot.

Five strokes behind Chiragh, were the Indian quartet of Om Prakash Chouhan, Himmat Rai, Gurki Shergill and SSP Chowrasia, who returned matching 69s, to share the ninth spot with defending champion Rikard Karlberg of Swede and eight others.

World number 55 Edoardo Molinari was tied 36th after returning with a card of one-under 71.

In the morning, Lin set the greens ablaze and emerged as the undisputed leader by noon but as the evening descended on the picturesque Delhi Golf Club, things started to change as the rest of the three gave a late charge to join him at the top, before Chiragh broke off with a last hole birdie at the 18th.

Chiragh blasted four birdies in the front nine at the first, fourth, eighth and ninth holes to take the turn at four-under and then picked up strokes at the 13th, 14th and 17th and 18th holes to reach the apex position.

"My putting was good today. I have been playing consistently for the last three week. At Bombay, I reached the play off, and in the rest two tournaments too I finished in the top 10," he said.

"I was not expecting to shoot 64. I just tried to keep things as simple as possible. I didn't keep any particular score on mind," he said.

Chiragh said he has some good memories at the DGC. "I had a very good start, hit four birdies at the front nine and so I was feeling good. This is the not the first time I scored a 64 here, actually as a junior, I had scored 64. Also in 2006 I had won an amateur trophy at the DGC," said Chiragh, who missed five cuts and best finish being tied 44th at the ICTSI Philippine Open.

Lin too got over his disappointment at the Players Championship where he was disqualified last week for writing a wrong score on the last day and posted a blemish-free card on the opening day on Thursday.

A 10th tee starter, Lin was on a birdie spree from the 13th hole to the 17th and fired another couple of birdies at the front nine to bring home a bogey-free card.

"I haven't really played very well this year but my game seems to be clicking very well here. I had a long putt on the 16th hole from 20 foot. This golf course is a very tricky course and you have to stay on the fairway," he said.

"My tee shots were great. You have to hit it really straight here to get a good score. I used the driver twice on holes 14 and three," he added.

Also a 10th tee starter, Ross had a brilliant beginning, hitting back-to-back birdies from 10th to the 12th holes. He picked a shot at the 14th and dropped a stroke at the next before taking the turn with a birdie at the 18th.

On his return journey, he eagled the first before dropping a stroke on the 7th hole but he made amends with back-to-back birdies to join Lin at the second position.

"I have played 12, 13 times at the DGC but this is my best score here. For once I got the better off DGC. It is like second home for me," said Ross, who finished second in the 2001 Indian Open.

"I was off to a good start, in fact, it was quite a fast start. I played solid today. My short game was good. I gave myself a lot of chances, I committed myself to the strokes, hit close to the pins," said Ross.

"The course tests your ball striking skills, greens are not as good as one would want but it is same for all. It would be a good scoring this week," he said.

2007 Singapore Open winner, Zaw Moe of Myanmar had birdies at the 10th, 13th, 18th, first, third and eighth and an eagle at the 14th hole. He bogeyed the fourth hole.

Among other Indians, three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa, Sujjan Singh, Shamim Khan and two others hit two-under 70 to lie tied 22nd. Two-time Asian Tour winner Gaganjeet Bhullar pulled out at the last moment on Thursday.

Shiv Kapur was tied 53rd after carding even-par 72, while Gaurav Ghei and Anirban Lahiri went one-over 73 for the day to lie tied 68th.

(Agencies)