Visakhapatnam, 21-09-2023

Akshay Sharma shines in round two, takes three-shot lead

Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma came up with the performance of the day, a four-under 68, in windy conditions during round two of the Vizag Open 2023 to take a three-shot lead at nine-under 135 at the East Point Golf Club (EPGC) in Visakhapatnam.

Gurugram-based players Sunhit Bishnoi and Shivendra Singh Sisodia as well as Bengaluru’s Trishul Chinnappa, carded scores of 69 to occupy tied second place at six-under 138.

The cut was declared at two-over 146. Fifty-three professionals made the cut.

Akshay Sharma (67-68), who was tied second and one shot off the lead after round one, had a flying start to the day as he chipped-in from the bunker for birdie on the 10th. His good chipping earned him another birdie on the 12th where he made a quality chip-putt. A long conversion from 20 feet on the 13th saw him pick up his third birdie of the day.

Akshay, a two-time winner on the PGTI, picked up two more strokes by firing it in within five feet on the second and fifth holes. The 33-year-old’s lone bogey came on the sixth.

Akshay said, “The conditions were exactly the opposite today as compared to round one as it was quite windy and there was no rain. My striking has been good so far and I hit 13 greens on both days which has served me well. Starting with a chip-in today really gave me momentum for the rest of the day. The key will be to continue hitting maximum number of fairways here as the fairways are narrow.”

PGTI Order of Merit leader Om Prakash Chouhan (70) was in tied fifth at five-under 139 along with overnight leader Mohammad Sanju (73) and Samarth Dwivedi (71).

Rahman Mehboob Shorif was the only Visakhapatnam-based player who made the cut. He was tied 44th at two-over 146.

Two players made a hole-in-one in round two, Rajesh Kumar on the 11th and Anurag Neog on the second. However, both players missed the cut.

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