David Drysdale's birdie burst earns place in top ten
As Germany's Marcel Siem shot an eight-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead at the DLF Golf & Country Club, Drysdale opened with a 68 to earn a share of tenth place.
Taking up where he'd left off when closing with a 69 in last week's Dubai Desert Classic, the 34-year-old from Cockburnspath made his score with a run of four birdies in five holes from the 14th after starting at the tenth.
He added one more birdie on his back nine – at the sixth – to endorse his comment earlier in the week that he was starting to get more comfortable with the new Callaway clubs he is using this year.
On a day when all but one of the Scots in the field managed to break par, Andrew Coltart and Steven O'Hara were also handily placed after rounds of 69. Four-under after 13 holes, Coltart dropped two shots in three holes but got one back with a birdie at the eighth – his penultimate hole.
O'Hara, who also had to go back to the Qualifying School at the end of last season, had one of the steadiest rounds of the day as he signed for a card that contained three birdies and the rest pars.
By contrast, Peter Whiteford's round was a roller-coaster affair. Three-under after six holes, he ran up a double-bogey 7 at the ninth, birdied the tenth, dropped shots at the 12th and 13th before signing off with two birdies for a 70. Richie Ramsay was also three-under early in his round but had to settle for a 71, with Callum Macaulay being the odd man out as he stumbled to a four-over-par 76.
Siem is hoping a change of approach to his golf could pay dividends this week. The 29-year-old is searching for only his second win on the European Tour following his Dunhill Championship victory in South Africa six years ago.
Siem's best finish in the five tournaments he has played this season was tied 22nd at the Joburg Open, but he got his bid for victory off to a solid start in India with eight birdies before an eagle on the ninth – his last – moved him ahead of Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei. And Siem revealed he has adopted a different approach to his game – including reverting to his old swing style – in a bid to give himself every chance of securing that elusive second win this season.
"I have gone back to my old swing, gone from the fade to the high draw that I used to play which is my natural game," he said. "I have been working harder than ever before as well. I spent 10 hours on the range on Monday and Tuesday this week and that I something that I have never done before, so I am taking this a lot more seriously these days."
World No59 Jeev Milkha Singh – the highest-ranked player at the tournament – endured a disappointing round with three birdies and as many bogeys leaving him eight shots off the pace.