The 25-year-old was brilliant from tee to green throughout the day, which led to a bogey-free round at the Four Seasons Golf Club, Mauritius at Anahita.
“It was a “dream come true” round today,” Chikkarangappa said.
“I hit the ball great, putted really well, kept the ball on the fairway which is key to scoring here, hit 13 fairways, hit almost every green in regulation and made 25 putts. Everything was perfect today.”
Chikkarangappa’s confidence is sky-high after making adjustments to his swing. The Indian golfer, who was victorious at an event on his local circuit recently, is determined to end his season on a high by winning the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, or one of the remaining tournaments on the Asian Tour schedule.
Also in tied-first is France’s Victor Perez. He enjoyed a near flawless round, trading nine birdies against a lone bogey.
“I’ve been playing a lot of good golf lately,” Perez said.
“It’s been a really good streak, a little hard to believe in golf when we know how the highs and the lows can be. I’m trying to ride this wave out as long as possible and it showed again in this first round.”
Kurt Kitayama of the United States, Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa are one shot behind the leaders in tied-third.
Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski, who won on the Asian Tour for the first time this season, is also right in the mix after carding a 67 to finish the day in tied-sixth.
Justin Harding of South Africa continued his resplendent form this season and signed for a 67. Harding, third on the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, got away with a bogey on the 16th after a wayward drive. He left the golf course with a broad smile on his face after chipping in for eagle on the 18th.
Travis Smyth is the leading Australian after shooting four-under-par 68 to sit T13th.