India began well only to be struck down as finishing blues haunted them towards the end at the Dream Park Country Club. Yet all four men managed under-par scores and were within striking distance of the leaders.

Udayan Mane and Feroz Garewal carded two-under 70 each to be tied ninth and four shots behind the leader, seasoned Cheng Tsung Pan (Taipei), a silver medallist in 2006, who shot a bogey-free six-under 66.

Manu Gandas and Samarth Dwivedi finished with 71 each in tied 20th place.

With a total of five-under 209 for the best three scores, the Indians were fifth in team placing, and the joint leaders were Taipei and Korea.

"The greens were slow but true. We expected something faster, but were still going fine. Till I hit a bad drive on 14th where I lost the ball and paid with a double, I was going fine. That affected me on next hole also and I dropped a bogey,"Mane said.

"Fortunately, I birdied the 17th which was a good psychological boost then I made a nice par on 18th to ensure a decent night’s sleep," he added.

Mane hoped that familiarity with the conditions would help them recover.

"We played this course in July and can do better in the coming rounds. We are trying not to get pressured by the fact that this is Asian Games, but that is easier said than done. Still there is a lot of golf to come."

Raian Irani, the non-playing captain, said, "These are young boys and are very talented. The IGU has given them good exposure taking them to various events and even to Korea forpractice. They are still very much there as all four shot under par and were consistent till the last few holes. I feel they can pull back in the coming rounds."

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