New Delhi, 20-02-2015

Chawrasia shoots 67 to emerge sole leader in round two, Siddikur a close second

Lahiri's 65 is day's best, Sixteen Indians make the cut

India's SSP Chawrasia emerged sole leader in round two of the Indian Open 2015 as he shot a determined four-under-67 to take his total to 10-under-132. Defending champion and PGTI member Md Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh is on the leader's tail at nine-under-133.

Indian star and world no. 39 Anirban Lahiri shot the day’s best score, a blistering six-under-65, to climb from overnight tied 80th spot to tied seventh.

The halfway cut was declared at two-over-144. Sixty-nine players made the cut which included 16 Indians.

SSP Chawrasia (65-67), the overnight joint leader, continued from where he left in round one as he posted a second successive bogey-free round. He was quick off the blocks with a birdie on the first. Chawrasia’s superb hitting saw him pick up two more birdies on the 10th and 11th. He finally overtook Siddikur to grab the sole lead after converting a long birdie putt on the 16th.

Chawrasia said, “I’m played very well on the first two days. I’ve played here many times so I know how to play on this course. As far as I remember, this is the first time I’m bogey free after 36 holes.

“I feel good about my game at the moment. I’m quite pleased to have saved a lot of pars today. It wasn’t easy to keep the bogeys away from my card. I had to make a lot of saves. The hitting was good on the front-nine while the putting wasn’t that great. But I was more consistent with the putter on the back-nine.

“It is tough when the wind changes direction but I know how to handle it here. I played well through the 2014 season. I started well this year as well so I’m feeling very confident. I’m very excited for the next two days and look forward to playing alongside Siddikur in round three. We have played together on a number of occasions in the past.”

Defending champion Md Siddikur Rahman (65-68), who was also the overnight joint leader, put together six birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey in his round of 68 to stay in contention at second spot.

Siddikur said, “I was a little bit disappointed with my double bogey because I had a good number of birdies. It was good to birdie the eight and nine holes. The ninth hole is very difficult but I hit a good five wood for my second shot and it landed eight feet from the hole. I always play for par on the ninth hole.

“On hole number four, I missed my shot and had to settle for double bogey. It shows that anything can happen on this golf course. I don’t want to think about my back injury. I rather think about my win here in 2013.”

Anirban Lahiri followed up his first round of 73 with a sizzling six-under-65 to rise 73 places from his overnight tied 80th position. Lahiri made two birdie chip-ins on day two on the 10th and 17th.

“Now I’m in with a sniff. I managed to get some rhythm on the greens and made some good putts. I tried to focus on getting back to even-par yesterday and tried to push myself to make a few birdies coming in. I’m happy with the way I fought back.

“You got to keep it on the fairways and it is easier said than done especially when the wind starts to pick up. Whoever can keep the ball in play the most will probably walk away with a big smile.

“I’m happy that I fought back hard after yesterday’s disappointment. I’ve been fighting a very stiff back and sore shoulder. I’m going to continue to fight. It was nice to get my putter hot. I didn’t hit the ball that great. I chipped in a couple of times and holed some nice putts. It is important sometimes when you are not at your best to scrape through.

“I’ve had a long relationship with the DGC. It wasn’t very friendly at the start but that’s turned around in the last three or four years. I’m now in a very positive frame of mind when I play here.

“There’s no pin position on the golf course which we haven’t seen before. There won’t be any surprises here. I’m quite comfortable out there and hopefully I can play well. I would have liked to be at 12 or 13-under at the halfway stage but after yesterday’s round, I will take wherever I am now,” said Anirban.

Arjun Atwal shot a second straight 70 to be tied 13th at two-under-140 while Shubhankar Sharma was a further shot back in tied 18th to make it four Indians in the top-20.

Among the other Indians who made the cut, Angad Cheema, Shiv Kapur and Manav Jaini were in tied 25th at even-par-142, Jyoti Randhawa, Rashid Khan and Chiragh Kumar were a further shot behind in joint 39th, while Om Prakash Chouhan, Mukesh Kumar, Amardip Sinh Malik, Jeev Milkha Singh, Chikkarangappa and Kapil Kumar were tied 51st at two-over-144.

Rahil Gangjee, former Indian Open champions C Muniyappa and Feroz Ali Mollah and five-time Asian Tour winner Gaganjeet Bhullar were among the Indians who missed the cut.

Abhinav Lohan, who also missed the cut, fired a hole-in-one on the 17th during his second round of 75.

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