Siddikur shines to wrest lead on day two

Bangladesh professional cards three-under 69

Siddikur shines to wrest lead on day two

For the second straight day, golfers teeing off in the morning enjoyed wonderful conditions -- overcast and calm -- while the afternoon starters had to battle rain and sun.
Md Siddikur Rahman made the best of the Thursday morning start to card a steady three-under 69 in the second round, taking his overall total to four-under 140 at the Karnataka Golf Association. Chandigarh’s Manav Jaini and title favourite Mukesh Kumar — both morning starters — are a stroke adrift after scoring two-under 70 and three-under 69 respectively.

Bangladesh’s Rahman says he has a much better short game as compared to driving. But on a course that leaves very little margin for error, driving too fell in place for the 25-year-old. Rahman made a confident start to the day when he fired a birdie on the par-4 first hole with a six feet putt. Six proved to be lucky again two holes later as he birdied from six feet again.

His only blunder of an otherwise wonderful day was a bogey on the par-5 ninth. With hardly a trace of wind, Rahman conjured up a spotless back-nine that included two birdies -- 13th and 14th.

“Conditions today were very good. Unlike yesterday, I did not have to battle variable conditions. With the course too playing true and beautiful, things just fell in place for me,” said Rahman, who triumphed twice in the last season of PGTI.

The Bangladeshi brought all his skills to the fore on the day, holing in an eight-footer for birdie on the 13th. He bettered that on the very next hole with a brilliant 12-foot birdie putt.

Meanwhile, 2008 PGTI leader Mukesh joined Rahman in notching up the best score of the day. He too started the day with a birdie on the first hole but dropped a stroke on the third. His backward trip was far more productive, picking up strokes on the 11th, 12th and 15th.

Fifty-one professionals and one amateur -- S Chikkarangappa (72, 81) -- made the cut that was declared at nine-over 153. Shockingly, defending champion Rahul Ganapathy made an early exit after totalling a dismal 14-over 158.

Leading scores:
140: Md Siddikur Rahman (71, 69); 141: Manav Jaini (71, 70), Mukesh Kumar (72, 69), Ranjit Singh (70, 71); 142: Harendra P Gupta (69, 73), Anirban Lahiri (72, 70); 143: C Muniyappa (71, 72); 144: Ali Sher (71, 73); 145: Digvijay Singh (74, 71), Gaurav Diwan (72, 73), Vishal Singh (73, 72), Vijay Kumar (74, 71), Shamim Khan (71, 74).

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