Golf: Khalin Joshi cards 66 to emerge sole leader at half-way stage of PGTI MP Cup
New Delhi, October 6, 2021
Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi carded six-under 72 to emerge the sole leader at the half-way stage of the Rs. 70 lakh Tata Steel PGTI MP Cup at Delhi Golf Club (DGC) here on Wednesday
The 29-year-old Joshi (69-66), the winner of the last men’s professional tournament (Asian Tour event) staged at the DGC three years back, hit seven birdies and a bogey in his second round to move up six places and emerge leader with nine-under 135.
Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (72-65) shot the day’s best score of 65 to gain 37 spots and move into tied second at seven-under 137. Sri Lanka’s N Thangaraja (70-67) and round one joint leaders Manu Gandas (67-70) and Chikkarangappa S (67-70) were also tied for second place along with Ahlawat.
The cut was applied at two-over 146. Fifty-two professionals and one amateur made the cut. Olympian Udayan Mane missed the cut as he totaled 10-over 154 while veteran Jyoti Randhawa withdrew from the event due to an injury.
Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa and Gurugram’s Kartik Sharma were tied sixth at six-under 138. PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh was tied eighth at five-under 139. Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the overnight joint leader, slipped to tied 12th at four-under 140 after a round of 73.
Shiv Kapur shot a 67 to be tied 15th at three-under 141 and SSP Chawrasia was tied 34th at one-over 145. Round one joint leader Ajay Baisoya ( Delhi) dropped to tied 42nd at two-over 146.
The only amateur to make the cut was Arvind Khanna (DGC) who was tied 42nd at two-over 146.
Khalin Joshi began the day on a high, with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the first. He added two more birdies and a bogey on the front-nine to make the turn at two-under for the day.
He began building momentum on the back-nine with an excellent approach shot from 140 yards on the 11th that landed inches from the pin for a tap-in birdie. He followed that up with a 15-feet putt for a par save on the 12th.
The leader wrapped up the day with three more birdies on the last five holes. He fired another outstanding approach from 130 yards on the 15th which missed the hole narrowly and gave him an easy birdie putt.
“My confidence comes from the fact that I’m rolling the putts well and my wedge-play has been terrific. I’m feeling good about my game at the moment.
“I have great memories of this course having won an Asian Tour event here in 2018. So that definitely helps. But the DGC’s greens are totally different now and it’s a ball-strikers course now, something that I’m enjoying,” said Khalin.
Ahlawat went error-free on Wednesday. He made 16 greens in regulation and had a chip-in birdie.
“I feel my course management is much better at the DGC now as compared to before. I play it safer with my tee shots and try to attack with my approach shots. I also felt I could’ve gone lower as I didn’t capitalize on all the par-5s making birdies on just two out of the four par-5s," he said.