Gurgaon, 10 Mar 2017

Defending champ Chawrasia on the rise on day two; Emerges clubhouse leader

Defending champion SSP Chawrasia of India was back in familiar territory on day two of the Hero Indian Open 2017. The three-time European Tour winner posted a sublime five-under-67 to take the second round clubhouse lead as weather interrupted play for the second straight day at the pristine DLF Golf & Country Club.

While Chawrasia led the field at five-under-139, Englishman David Horsey was placed second at four-under-140.   

The threat of lightning led to suspension of play for two and a half hours on Friday between 1445 hrs and 1715 hrs IST. As a result, only the players who teed off in the first session of play could complete their second round on Friday.

SSP Chawrasia (72-67), who regained his putting form in round two, made three birdie conversions from over 20 feet including one from 40 feet on the 14th in round two.
An excited SSP said, “My putter was hot today. I converted from 25 feet and 20 feet on the fifth and eighth respectively. I also had a 40-feet conversion on the 14th. The main difference between yesterday and today’s round was that the putts rolled in today unlike yesterday.

“I’m happy to be bogey-free today. It’s quite an achievement to play bogey-free here. I’m getting a little used to the course now but still learning along the way and trying to understand the course.

“It’s a tricky course as the greens are tough to negotiate. It needs full focus. Not easier today but yes it was less windy as compared to yesterday. It’s important to mix caution with aggression on this track. 

“I haven’t changed anything. I’ll look to play the same way on the last two days. My strategy is to hit straight and putt well. Just keep it simple. The good memories from last year have really helped me.

“I woke up at 4 am today as I had an early start since my round was unfinished from yesterday. I’m now looking forward to some much needed rest as I know I’ll be starting late on Saturday.”

Jyoti Randhawa (75-70), who fired a second round of two-under-70, was the next best Indian at one-over-145.

Among the other Indians who finished their rounds, Chiragh Kumar (75) and Chikkarangappa (76) both had totals of four-over-148.

The prominent Indian names who didn’t finish their second round on Friday included Shubhankar Sharma, Rashid Khan, Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Arjun Atwal, Rahil Gangjee, Anirban Lahiri and Jeev Milkha Singh.

Shubhankar Sharma was one-over through four holes in round two. His total stood at one-over. Anirban Lahiri was one-over through six holes as his total moved to five-over.

Rashid’s total was at two-over through three holes. Kapur, Bhullar and Atwal were all at three-over. While the first two had finished seven holes, Atwal could only complete five holes from the second round on Friday.

Gangjee was at four-over through nine holes. Jeev was at 17-over through four holes in round two.

The second round will resume at 0700 hrs IST on Saturday. The third round is likely to get underway only after 1230 hrs on Saturday.

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