Kochi, 05-03-2015

Shubhankar Sharma gains ground on day two with a 68, builds three-shot lead

Khalin Joshi's 67 is day's best, places him tied second with Gaganjeet Bhullar

Defending champion Shubhankar Sharma of the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon, fired a four-under-68 in round two of the PGTI Cochin Masters presented by CIAL Golf & Country Club to build a three-shot lead at seven-under-137. Bangalore’s Khalin Joshi shot the day’s best score of five-under-67 to be tied second along with Gaganjeet Bhullar of Kapurthala at four-under-140. 

The cut was declared at five-over-149. Fifty-one professionals made the cut.

Shubhankar Sharma (69-68), the overnight joint leader, carried the momentum into the second round as he had a birdie-birdie start on the first two holes having set up short birdie putts. He dropped a stroke on the fourth but came back strongly with two more conversions from within four feet on the sixth and ninth. Shubhankar, who turned in at three-under, sank a 12-footer for birdie on the 11th before missing a few putts for bogeys on the 12th and 13th. Sharma pulled two strokes back by capitalizing on the 15th and 16th, both par-5s.

“My hitting was decent today put putting was much better than round one. Every putt I hit today had a peek at the hole. It was difficult to judge the direction of the wind today and that caused some problems. The head wind on the back-nine meant the holes played longer. I’m feeling good about my game at the moment,” said Shubhankar, who won his maiden title at the PGTI Cochin Masters last year.

Pre-tournament favourite Gaganjeet Bhullar (69-71), the overnight joint leader, carded a one-under-71 to slip to tied second place. Bhullar had a contrasting front-nine and back-nine. He sank two 20-footers for birdies on the fourth and fifth and then collected two more birdies by landing it within a foot on the sixth and ninth. Gaganjeet, however, had a forgettable back-nine, as he missed a few fairways and greens to drop shots on the 10th, 13th and 15th.

Gaganjeet said, “I had a good start today but somehow couldn’t capitalize on it. It was a totally different story on the back-nine as compared to the first half of my round. Nonetheless, I feel I’m still very much in the hunt with two rounds to go.”

Khalin Joshi’s 67 was the day’s best card and pushed him up from overnight tied 24th to tied second. Joshi, who was one-under through the first-nine, picked up four birdies on the back-nine to emerge a strong contender for the week.

Shamim Khan of Delhi and Mukesh Kumar of Mhow shared fourth place at two-under-142 while Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee, Sujjan Singh of Chandigarh and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja were a further shot back in tied sixth. 

About PGTI:

Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Srinivasan H R (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.

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