Gurugram, 01-12-2023

Rashid Khan leads the pack heading into the final round

Two-time international winner Rashid Khan led the pack at a total of six-under 138 at the end of round two of the INR 2 crore Kapil Dev Grant Thornton Invitational 2023 presented by DLF being played at the DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurugram.

Delhi-based Rashid (68-70), a three-time PGTI Order of Merit champion, followed his first round of 68 with a steady 70 on Friday that saw him continue at the top of the leaderboard.

Gurugram’s Karan Pratap Singh (68-71), the joint first round leader along with Rashid, slipped to tied second place after his 71 in round two took his total to five-under 139.

Sunhit Bishnoi (69-70), another Gurugram lad, who had played his second round on Thursday, shared the second spot with Karan Pratap Singh.

Round two resumed at 9:30 am on Friday as there was a two-and-a-half-hour fog delay. Out of a total of 120 players, the 84 players who couldn’t complete their second round on Thursday, came out and completed their rounds on Friday. As a result of the fog delay on the first two days, the tournament has been reduced to a 54-hole event and the third and final round will be played on Saturday.

The cut was declared at six-over 150. Fifty-three professionals made it to the final money round. The professionals who made the cut will now be joined by amateurs in the last round where the Pro-Am Team Championship will be played alongside the main event. There will be two professionals and two amateurs in each group.

Rashid Khan, a 10th tee starter, began the day on a promising note with two long birdie conversions on the 10th and 13th. Khan dropped a couple of bogeys thereafter but negated the effect of those with birdies on two par-5s, the 18th and eighth, where he narrowly missed 10 to 12 feet eagle putts.

Rashid said, “I hit the ball well today but couldn’t make as many putts as I would’ve liked. I was struggling a bit with the lines on the greens but other than that I had a decent round. I was finding the fairways, my placement was good, I made 16 greens in regulation and also hit it fairly close to the flags so missing the putts was disappointing.

“I got a break yesterday because of the delay on the first two days. I managed to get some practice yesterday. With the delayed starts like it happened once again today, one has to be mentally switched on all the time otherwise you can lose momentum. I was just a little wary of losing my momentum due to the long gap between my two rounds but it turned out well for me today.”

Karan Pratap Singh, a winner on the PGTI this year, chipped-in for birdie from the bunker on the first hole and made an eagle during his round of 71. Karan's eventful round also featured five other birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey as he missed a number of short putts. 

Mysuru’s Yashas Chandra M S (68), gold medalist in the individual event at the recently concluded National Games, was placed fourth at four-under 140 after he carded a 68 which was the best score of round two.

TATA Steel PGTI Ranking leader Om Prakash Chouhan was tied 34th at five-over 149 while last year’s champion Varun Parikh was placed tied 46th at six-over 150.

Earlier in the day at 8:30 am, former cricketers including India’s Ajit Agarkar, Australia’s Micheal Bevan and New Zealand’s Ross Taylor teed off as part of two celebrity fourballs. The others who teed-off in the celebrity fourballs were leading Indian lady professionals Tvesa Malik and Vani Kapoor as well as tournament host Mr. Kapil Dev, Grant Thornton Bharat CEO Mr. Vishesh Chandiok and Grant Thornton Bharat Senior Partner Mr. Deepankar Sanwalka.

Former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh too visited the course on Friday to watch the second round.


Round 2 Leaderboard:

138: Rashid Khan (68-70)

139: Karan Pratap Singh (68-71); Sunhit Bishnoi (69-70)

140: Yashas Chandra M S (72-68)

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