Chowrasia, who lost his European Tour card last year, has been playing with fair consistency on Asian Tour this season and he had one birdie and one bogey in a sedate round, while Sujjan had two birdies and two bogeys.

Rahil Gangjee, 10th in the Order of Merit, and Himmat Rai, who is struggling this season, were tied for 31st place with rounds of 74 each. Jyoti Randhawa (75) and Chiragh Kumar (77) were tied 53rd and 89th, respectively.

Lionel Weber of France carded four-under-par 68 to take the first round lead. The 24-year-old nailed five birdies against a lone bogey to hold a two-shot advantage over Malaysia's Nicholas Fung, England's Steve Lewton and 2010 winner Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand at the challenging Taiwan Golf and Country Club's Tamsui course.

Thailand's Prom Meesawat, who was victorious in Taipei three weeks ago, American Sam Cyr and Australian Marcus Both were joint fifth with two others at the long-running Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which is celebrating its 28th edition this week.

Defending champion Scott Hend of Australia posted a disappointing 76 to tie for 75th place in the Asian Tour event.

The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the penultimate tournament for players to qualify for the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

As of October 20, the leading four golfers from the Order of Merit will earn starting places in the USD 8.5 million HSBC Champions while the leading 10 players will qualify for the USD 7 million CIMB Classic.

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