Whiteford sparkles on day two

Lahiri, Shamim keep Indian interest alive in Avantha Masters

Anirban Lahiri and Shamim Khan kept the Indian flag flying high in tied seventh, but it was Peter Whiteford of Scotland, looking for his maiden win, who shone the brightest as he carded a four-under 68 to move two clear at the end of the second round of the Avantha Masters on Friday.

Whiteford was two ahead of Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, whose stunning round of eight-under 64 saw him make the biggest move. Whiteford is now 10-under for two rounds, while Meesawat is at eight-under 136.

Four others are at seven-under 137 as the leaderboard was crowded, setting the stage for an exciting finish over the weekend at the DLF Golf & Country Club. India’s best, however, came from Anirban Lahiri. One over after five, he turned in even par and then had a hat-trick of birdies from 13th to 16th.

Lahiri was tied at seventh, the same as Shamim Khan (70-68). The cut came at even par and 67 players made it. Of them there were 12 Indians, and two from the neighbourhood, who play on the Indian PGTI Tour, Mithun Perera (Sri Lanka), who shot 70-72, and Mohd Siddikur (Bangladesh), who carded 72-73.

The Indians who made it included Himmat Rai, who overcame a triple bogey on 12th, his third hole of the day, to finish at 72 and at four-under he was tied 25th. Vivek Bhandari, who scored a first round 69, was rattled with three bogeys in a row from 15th to 17th on his first nine after starting from the tenth. He recovered and finished at par to be tied 30th. Also tied at 30th were Jeev Milkha Singh, Shiv Kapur and Vijay Kumar.

Second round scores: 134: Peter Whiteford (Gbr, 66, 68). 136: Prom Meesawat (Tha, 72, 64). 137: Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra, 68, 69); Chapchai Nirat (Tha, 70, 67); Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha, 68, 69); Kieran Pratt (Aus, 71, 66). 138: Soren Hansen (Den, 70, 68); Thongchai Jaidee (Tha, 68, 70); Jamie Donaldson (Gbr, 68, 70); Gregory Havret (Fra, 68, 70); Marcus Fraser (Aus, 69, 69); Marcel Siem (Ger, 69, 69); Shamim Khan (Ind, 70, 68); Thorbjorn Olesen (Den, 71, 67); Anirban Lahiri (Ind, 69, 69). 139: Alejandro Canizares (Esp, 66, 73); Marc Warren (Gbr, 72, 67); Jbe Kruger (SA, 70, 69); Jamie Moul (Gbr, 71, 68); Andrew Dodt (Aus, 72, 67); Paul McGinley (Ire, 70, 69); Rhys Davies (Gbr, 70, 69); Joost Luiten (Ned, 70, 69); Scott Barr (Aus, 70, 69); 140: Himmat Rai (Ind, 68, 72); Andrea Pavan (Ita, 69, 71); Lorenzo Gagli (Ita, 72, 68); Berry Henson (US, 70, 70); Marcus Both (Aus, 70, 70). 141: Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind, 69, 72); Richard Sterne (SA, 71, 70); Vijay Kumar (Ind, 72, 69); Vivek Bhandari (Ind, 69, 72); Gareth Maybin (Gbr, 72, 69); Shiv Kapur (Ind, 71, 70); Scott Jamieson (Gbr, 69, 72); Bernd Wiesberger (Aut, 71, 70).

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