Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia shot a second straight five-under 67 to join Delhi’s Shamim Khan in the half-way lead at the Kensville Open 2019 presented by Tata Steel PGTI, a Rs. 40 lakh event, being played at the Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.
Sunit and Shamim, who carded a 68 on Friday, had identical totals of 10-under 134 after 36 holes. Pune-based Udayan Mane (67) and Delhi’s Arjun Prasad (70) were two shots off the lead in tied-third place.
The cut fell at two-over 146. Fifty professionals and two amateurs made the cut. PGTI Order of Merit leader Rashid Khan (Delhi) missed the cut by one shot as he totaled three-over 147.
Chowrasia (67-67), who was in third place and one shot off the lead after round one, was exceptional around the greens on day two as he produced a second straight 67. Chowrasia enjoyed a solid start as he made a chip-in for par on the 12th followed by a tough two-putt for par on the 13th and an eagle chip-in on the 14th.
The 25-year-old Sunit, the nephew of veteran S S P Chawrasia, added four more birdies and a bogey thereafter which included a 12-feet birdie conversion on the third to end up with the day’s joint lowest round.
Sunit, who turned professional in 2018, said, “I didn’t strike the ball as well today as compared to round one. Nonetheless, I managed to get a good start thanks to my short-game as I made two chip-ins early on that lifted my confidence. I played well on the par-5s today having made an eagle and two birdies.
“I had not been finishing my rounds well earlier in the year and that affected my results. But I’ve fared much better on that front recently and that reflects in my top-20 finishes at the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational and the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf.
“The experience of having done reasonably well at Kensville last year with a tied 11th finish, has given me the confidence to perform well at this venue once again. My course management has been good so far this week.”
Khan (66-68), the round one joint leader, continued in the lead on day two after draining six birdies at the expense of two bogeys. Khan was four-under and error-free through his first 11 holes thus staring at an outright lead. But two birdies and bogeys each over the next five holes slowed down his progress.
Shamim said, “I did not finish the round as per my expectations so I’m a little disappointed. But I’m still well-placed and have a good platform to build on for the last two rounds.”
Prasad, the round one joint leader, slipped to tied third at eight-under-136 after a flawless 70 on Friday. Udayan Mane fired a 67, the day’s joint lowest score, to join Prasad in tied third place.
Delhi-based Naman Dawar made an eagle-two on the 12th during his round of 68 that placed him fifth and seven-under137.
Amateur Jay Pandya was the highest-placed among the Ahmedabad-based golfers. Pandya was in tied 13th at three-under 141. Defending champion Tapy Ghai of Gurugram was a further shot back in tied 18th.
Amateur Anshul Patel was only the second Ahmedabad-based golfer after Jay Pandya to have made the cut. Patel’s total of two-over 146 placed him tied 43rd.
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