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Golf: Chikkarangappa fires 65 to take half-way lead at Delhi-NCR Open
Gurugram, March 17, 2021
Defending champion Chikkarangappa S fired seven-under 65 to emerge as halfway leader at a total of nine-under 135 at the Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship at the Golden Greens Golf Club here on Wednesday.
Gurugram’s Tapy Ghai (67) and Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta (70) were in joint second place with totals of eight-under 136 at the Rs. 30-lakh event.
The cut was declared at one-over 145. Fifty-six professionals made the cut.
Bengaluru based Chikkarangappa (70-65), lying overnight tied 12th and four off the lead, carded a sublime round studded with a flurry of birdies on the first, second and third holes, the latter two being conversions from 12 to 15 feet.
Chikka, a winner of 14 titles, recovered well after his bogey on the fourth with two more birdies on the eighth and ninth.
The 27-year-old had an action-packed back-nine. He dropped a double-bogey on the 10th but came roaring back with birdies on the next two holes.
The leader ended the day in style with a birdie-eagle on the 17th and 18th. The 25-feet eagle conversion on the 18th was the fifth long putt of the day that he pulled off.
“I had a terrific start today and was stroking the ball well on the greens. The putts rolled in for me on a consistent basis. I had a disastrous 10th hole but importantly I kept calm and quickly got back into rhythm picking up a couple of strokes over the next two holes." he said
Tapy Ghai (69-67), who was tied eighth and three off the lead after round one, had nine birdies and four bogeys to show in his round of 67. He made a chip-in on the third and landed it close on several occasions to set up his birdies during round two.
Opening round joint leader Harendra Gupta (66-70) returned a 70 that featured three birdies and a bogey. He made some gains towards the end after making pars on his first 13 holes.
Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu, another first round joint leader, slipped to tied fourth at six-under 138 after a round of 72. Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi, who also struck the day’s joint best score of 65, was bunched in tied fourth along with Ajeetesh, Pune’s Udayan Mane (67), Patna-based Aman Raj (66) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (68) of Noida.
Delhi’s Honey Baisoya, who was a part of the three-way lead in round one, shot a 74 to drop to tied 12th place at four-under-140. PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (69) of Chandigarh was also in tied 12th position.
Rashid Khan (74) was a further shot back in tied 17th place.
Mohd Azhar from Vooty Golf County, Hyderabad, made a hole-in-one on the eighth during his round of 73. However, he missed the cut as his total score read six-over 150.