Digboi, Assam, 14-11-2013

Khalin Joshi shoots second straight 67 for five-shot lead

Khalin Joshi of Bangalore shot a second successive five-under-67 to stay on top of the leaderboard after round two of the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf 2013 at the Digboi Golf Links. His two-day total of 10-under-134 placed him five shots ahead of the rest of the field. Australian Kunal Bhasin, M Dharma of Bangalore, Mukesh Kumar of Mhow and Delhi’s Rashid Khan are in tied second at five-under-139.

Khalin Joshi (67-67), the overnight joint leader, started the day with a bogey on the first but drove the par-4 green on the third to set up his first birdie of the day. The rookie golfer then landed it within four feet from 100 yards out on the fifth to pick up another stroke. Khalin progressed to two-under for the day with a magnificent chip on the ninth that stopped a few inches from the hole. 

Joshi kept the intensity going on the back-nine as he landed it within five feet on the 11th and 14th to grab a couple of more birdies. The 21-year-old produced a magical wedge shot from a distance of 125 yards on the 13th that left him a four-foot birdie putt which he converted.

“I started my round with a bogey for the second straight day. But I recovered well once again thanks to my consistent putting. I was comfortable through the day and was confident of doing well once again. I was excellent from a distance of 130 to 140 yards from the flag. I don’t really have a number in mind for the third round but I’d like to repeat this effort in the next two rounds. I’m really enjoying playing at the Digboi Golf Links for the first time,” said Khalin, who shot the day’s best score.

Kunal Bhasin (67-72) and M Dharma (67-72), both joint overnight leaders along with Khalin Joshi, shot matching scores of 72 to be placed tied second. While Bhasin made four birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey, Dharma had two birdies and two bogeys in his round.

Defending champion Mukesh Kumar (70-69) had five birdies against two bogeys in his round of 69 that placed him joint second. Rashid Khan’s (69-70) four birdies and two bogeys also placed him tied second.

Delhi’s Shamim Khan was in sixth place at four-under-140.

The cut was declared at nine-over-153. Fifty-two professionals made the cut.

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