Kshitij Naveed Kaul leads with a superb 65 in round two of RCGC Open Golf Championship
Kshitij Naveed Kaul

Kshitij Naveed Kaul leads with a superb 65 in round two of RCGC Open Golf Championship

Kolkata, November 27, 2021

Delhi’s Kshitij Naveed Kaul fired seven-under 65 to emerge sole leader after round two of the Rs. 40 lakh ICC RCGC Open Golf Championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) here on Friday.

The 20-year-old Kshitij (69-65) carded the tournament’s best round so far, featuring nine birdies and two bogeys, to take his 36-hole tally to 10-under 134 for a two-shot lead. Kaul made a gain of five spots from his overnight tied sixth.

Panchkula-based Angad Cheema (68-68), part of the five-way lead on day one, shot a second consecutive 68 to occupy second place at eight-under 136.

Gurugram’s Ankur Chadha (68-69), also a joint leader in round one, ended day two in third place at seven-under 137 following his 69

The cut came down at three-over 147. Fifty-three professionals made the cut.

Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Sandhu, Ahmedabad’s Anshul Patel, Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar and Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow were in tied-fourth at six-under 138.

Sunit Chowrasia was the highest-placed Kolkata golfer in tied eighth at five-under 139. His second-round 68 included four successive birdies on the front-nine.

Mari Muthu of Bengaluru, one of the five joint leaders from round one, dropped to tied eighth after a 71 on Friday.

Harendra Gupta (73) of Chandigarh and Noida’s Vikrant Chopra (75), the other two overnight joint leaders, slipped to tied 12th at three-under 141 and tied 18th at one-under 143, respectively.

Defending champion Mithun Perera (73-73) of Sri Lanka was tied 33rd at two-over 146. Delhi’s Manav Jaini struck a hole-in-one on the second hole during his round of 73. He was tied 45th at three-over 147.

Kaul, currently 19th on the PGTI Order of Merit and fresh from top-20s in his last three events, had birdies at regular intervals on the front-nine, picking up shots on the second, fourth, seventh, and ninth as a result of conversions from a range of seven to 15 feet.

Kaul then slowed down after a couple of erratic tee shots resulted in bogeys for him on the 10th and 11th. Hethen came roaring back with a birdie on the 12th followed by four in succession from the 15th to the 18th. He narrowly missed eagles on the 15th and 17th with his approach from 160 yards landing within inches of the pin on the latter. The promising young talent signed off in style with a 20-feet birdie conversion on the 18th.

Kaul said, “It’s great to have made nine birdies today. The big difference between yesterday's and today’s round was that my ball-striking was better today and I also converted some long putts. I came back well after those two bogeys in the middle of the round.

“A low score is that much more special at the RCGC as the greens are tough to read here and one can’t get away with a bad shot at this course.

“I missed a few tournaments this season in order to work on my game and my swing. All that hard work is paying off now.”

Angad Cheema began the day with two birdies but then made pars and dropped a bogey to be one-under for the day through 13 holes. He then pushed ahead with three birdies between the 14th and the 17th.

Ankur Chadha mixed four birdies with a bogey during his 69 which featured two conversions from a range of 12 to 20 feet.


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