India’s Rahil Gangjee (72) skidded over the last three holes to finish at one-over and was the best-placed Indian at tied 29th on a tough day at the Kolon Korea Open here.
Gangjee was in the top 5 after 15 holes, but bogeys in his last three holes from seventh to ninth after starting from the 10th saw him slide down at the challenging Woo Jeong Hills course.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (73) was at 2-over and was tied 48th, while Veer Ahlawat (78) and Honey Baisoya (80) were at tied 120th and tied 133rd respectively, and in danger of missing the cut.
The 35-year-old Seungsu Han of the US took an early lead in the 64th edition of the tournament, posting a flawless three-under-par score of 68. He was the only player in the morning session to avoid dropping shots on a course that proved tough from the word go in the USD 1.03 million event, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Korea Golf Association.
He was later joined by Jaimin Hwang and Lee Junghwan, both of whom also shot 3-under 68 each.
Gangjee opened on the 10th and birdied fourth and ninth before the turn and played the first six holes of the front nine in par before bogeying seventh, eighth and ninth.
Bhullar started with a bogey on tenth but a birdie on 12th brought him to even par before bogeys on 17 and 18 saw him turn in 2-over. He birdied fifth but dropped a shot on eighth to finish at 2-over 73.
Seven players, including Nititihorn Thippong, who won his career breakthrough event the DGC Open by Mastercard recently in India, were 2-under 69 each and Gangjee was with them till he dropped shots at the last three holes.
Co-leader Seungsu Han said he was ready for the round and happy to have finished before the rain, expected in the afternoon.
Thippong had a patchy morning. After opening with a birdie on the 10th hole, he gave a shot back a couple of holes later, before picking up pace to birdie the last two holes before the turn. His back nine started with a dropped shot, but a recovering birdie before the end left him in an early tie for second place at two-under-par.
Jarin Todd of the USA, who finished ninth in the recent International Series England, played a patient round to join the group on second at 69.