India’s SSP Chawrasia carded a solid four-under 68 on the back of five birdies to be placed fifth at the Oman Open in Muscat on Thursday.
Chawrasia, who was tied-22 and tied-32 in his two Asian Tour starts in Hong Kong and Singapore in January respectively, also came fourth at the European Tour Qualifying School, but still did not get into any one of the three events in the Middle East swing.
A four-time winner on European Tour and two-time winner of the Hero Indian Open, Chawrasia started from the back nine and had two birdies on the par-5 12th and par-5 16th to turn in two-under. He added a third birdie on second, but dropped a shot on fourth. He added birdies on sixth and eighth to finish at four-under.
The other two Indians in the field had a rough start, both Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar, carded two-over 74 each and will need a low second round score to make the cut.
Italian Guido Migliozzi had a bogey free six-under 66 as he held a one-shot lead over Brandon Stone, Rasmus Hojgaard and Lee Taehee, who carded 67 each.
Chawrasia was one of the seven players at four-under alongside defending Indian Open champion Stephen Gallacher, Andy Sullivan, Victor Dubuisson, Ross Fisher, Adrian Otaegui, Zander Lombard and George Coetzee.
Migliozzi, 23, a two-time European Tour winner had missed his first three cuts of the 2020 campaign. His six birdies on day one moved him to six under.
Hojgaard had missed four cuts in a row since winning the Mauritius Open but he went bogey free in the afternoon to join Stone at five under.