Mukesh Kumar of Mhow shot a five-under-67 to be the sole leader in round two of The Hemisphere PGTI Masters being played at the Noida Golf Course. Mukesh totaled nine-under-135 at the halfway stage to lead by three shots. Noida’s Amardip Sinh Malik was placed second at six-under-138.
The cut was declared at four-over-148. Fifty-eight professionals made the cut.
The seasoned Mukesh Kumar (68-67), a winner of over 110 titles including 15 on the PGTI, started the day on a positive note as he birdied the first. The overnight joint leader gathered steam with a chip-in from the bunker for another birdie on the fourth. Mukesh, who won his last title in 2013, landed his iron shots within four feet on the seventh, 10th, 14th and 18th for four more birdies. The only setback for him was the bogey on the 11th where he missed an up and down.
“My putting was much better today as compared to round one. I feel I’m getting back into my groove this week. My iron shots were spot on and set up lot of birdie opportunities for me. It’s been a long time since I won my last event. I’m now looking forward to getting back into the winning habit. The chip-in from the bunker on the fourth was the highlight of my round and gave me the momentum,” said Mukesh.
Amardip Sinh Malik (68-70) occupied second place at the halfway stage. Malik, playing at his home course, recovered well after dropping bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes. He birdied the 17th before picking up another stroke on the first where he missed an eagle from five feet. Amardip, who won his maiden event at the Noida Golf Course in December last year, chipped-in for birdie on the fifth before capitalizing on the par-5 eighth with his last birdie of the day.
“I’m very comfortable playing at my home course and always feel I can shoot low numbers here. I’m extremely confident of my tee shots here. I’m in the process of recovering from my shoulder injury and a good performance this week will be a big motivation,” said Malik.
Noida’s Vikrant Chopra, the Delhi trio of Pratap Atwal, Shamim Khan and Siddharth Semwal and Bangalore’s Chikkarangappa are in tied third at five-under-139.
Kapurthala’s Ashbeer Saini shot the day’s best score of six-under-66. Saini made an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys on day two. He was placed tied 12th at three-under-141.