Ahmedabad, 07-03-2024

Mohd Azhar’s superb five-under gives him halfway lead

Vikarabad-based Mohd Azhar’s superb five-under 31 in round two gave him the halfway lead at a total of seven-under 65 at the Glade One presents Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2024, an INR 1 crore event being played at the Glade One Golf Resort & Club in Ahmedabad.

Karnal’s Mani Ram shot a second straight 33 to be placed second at a total of six-under 66.

The first two rounds of the event comprised nine holes each. After the completion of 18 holes on Thursday, the cut was applied at two-over 74. Fifty professionals and one amateur made the cut.

The third and fourth rounds will now comprise 18 holes each. The tournament will be played over a total of 54 holes. The par for the course in the first two rounds was 36. The par for the course in the third and fourth rounds will be 72.

Mohd Azhar (34-31), who was overnight tied fifth and one off the lead, made his move early on with birdies on the second and third thanks to two 18-feet conversions. With his putter on fire, Azhar picked up another birdie from long range on the fifth when he sank it from 20 feet.

The 24-year-old, who turned pro in 2020, then pushed ahead with two more birdies on the seventh and eighth where he landed it within five feet.

Azhar said, “I’ve had a decent start to the season having already posted a top-20 finish in the previous event. I’m just carrying forward that momentum this week. My putting has so far been the best aspect of my game on the first two days at Glade One. I’ve made a number of long putts. Going ahead my focus will be on the placement off the tees as the rough is quite unforgiving at this venue.”

Mani Ram (33-33), part of a four-way tie for the first-round lead, slipped one spot to second position following his 33 on Thursday that featured birdies on the last three holes.

Bengaluru’s Shaurya Binu and Kevin Esteve Rigaill of Andorra were tied for third at four-under 68.

Ahmedabad’s Anshul Patel was the best-placed among the local golfers as he was tied eighth at two-under 70.

Among the prominent names in the field, Rashid Khan was tied 12th at one-under 71, defending champion Aman Raj was tied 32nd at one-over 73 and Manu Gandas was tied 42nd at two-over 74.

Scotland’s Harvey McDonald was the only amateur to make the cut as he totaled 71 to occupy tied 12th position. Harvey has been training and practicing at Glade One over the last three weeks under the guidance of Indian professional golfer Arshpreet Thind. McDonald aspires to represent the Great Britain & Ireland team against the United States team in the Walker Cup 2025, a prestigious amateur team competition in the world.


Round 2 Leaderboard:

65: Mohd Azhar (34-31)

66: Mani Ram (33-33)

68: Kevin Esteve Rigaill (34-36), Shaurya Binu (34-36)

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