Golf: Choo Tze Huang fires 68 to sit second after first round of Panasonic Open India

Singapore's golfer Choo Tze Huang comtemplates his shot during the second round of the Barclays Singapore Open held at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course on Nov 9, 2012. Two bogeys in his closing three holes on Thursday did little to damp
Singapore's golfer Choo Tze Huang comtemplates his shot during the second round of the Barclays Singapore Open held at the Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong Course on Nov 9, 2012. Two bogeys in his closing three holes on Thursday did little to dampen golfer Choo Tze Huang's mood as he still managed his best round at the Panasonic Open India at Delhi Golf Club (DGC). -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Two bogeys in his closing three holes on Thursday did little to dampen golfer Choo Tze Huang's mood as he still managed his best round at the Panasonic Open India at Delhi Golf Club (DGC).

The Singaporean, who missed the cut at his last two tournaments at the DGC last year and failed to break par on all four occasions, was a lot sharper on his latest visit to the Indian capital, with six birdies on his card.

His opening-round of four-under-par 68 at this week's Asian Tour's event leaves him in second position, two shots adrift of overnight leader and local hope Rahil Gangjee.

Choo, 27, might have been atop the leaderboard of the US$300,000 (S$388,000) tournament if not for his untidy finish, which included two three-putts. However, he remained upbeat about his performance.

He said: "I'm definitely happy overall with my game today. This is my third visit here and I have a better understanding of the course and I'm more disciplined in my game."

While his work with new coach Australian Andrew Argus has led Choo to give up a bit in driving distance, he has been more accurate off the tee, a necessary trait this week to combat DGC's narrow fairways.

"That's my gameplan here," said Choo. "As long as I keep the ball in play and give myself chances to make pars and some birdies I think I'll be able to do well."

Aside from a joint-sixth finish at the Queen's Cup in June, this year has been a struggle for Choo, who is in his third year as a touring professional following a stellar amateur career.

"It's been up and down although I've played well in patches this year. The last five or six weeks I've not been scoring well but it's important to remain patient."

With two months and five Asian Tour events left this term, time is nevertheless running out for Choo to rediscover his form and collect enough money to earn his playing card for next season.

Currently 104th in the Order of Merit, he needs to finish the year in the top-65 to secure full playing privileges for the following campaign.

"It's not going to be easy but today was a good start and hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the week and build on that," he said.