Golf | Khalin Joshi takes two-stroke lead

Khalin Joshi fired four birdies during his flawless back-nine 32 and moved two shots ahead of the field at the halfway stage of the ₹70-lakh TATA Steel PGTI MP Cup golf tournament here on Wednesday.

In perfect conditions at the Delhi Golf Club Course, Khalin overtook four overnight leaders with a round of six-under 66 to go with this first-round 69 for a tally of 9-under 135.

S. Chikkarangappa and Manu Gandas, two of the overnight leaders, along with Veer Ahlawat and N. Thangaraja, shared the second spot at 137.

The ‘cut’ came at two-over 146 and kept 53 players in the hunt over the final two rounds.

There was plenty of action during the closing holes. Khalin stayed in control to birdie three out of the last five holes, including the final one.

Thangaraja also signed off with a birdie but Manu double-bogeyed to fall back.

Veer Ahlawat, with a day’s best bogey-free 65, more than made up for his par round on the first day. Chikkrangappa, too, fired seven birdies but a bogey on the 13th hole and a double-bogey on the second hole slowed him down.

Viraj Madappa, who shot eight birdies, double-bogeyed the 18th for the tied sixth place with Kartik Sharma at 138.

Among the more illustrious names, one of the overnight leaders Rashid Khan (67, 73) and Shiv Kapur (74, 67) shared the 12th and 15th spots while S.S.P. Chowrasia (73, 72) was tied 34th. Jyoti Randhawa and Ashok Kumar withdrew while Olympian Udayan Mane (75, 79) missed the cut.

The scores: 135 – Khalin Joshi (69, 66); 137 – S. Chikkarangappa (67, 70), Manu Gandas (67, 70), Veer Ahlawat (72, 65), N. Thangaraja (70, 67); 138 – Viraj Madappa (71, 67) and Kartik Sharma (70, 68); 139 – M. Dharma (71, 68), Angad Cheema (71, 68), Sunil Chowrasia (71, 68) and Karandeep Kochar (71, 68).

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