Solid Gangjee stays in lead

Solid Gangjee stays in lead

In yet another steady effort, Rahil Gangjee kept his focus to maintain a solitary two-stroke lead after carding a four-under 68  in the second round of Panasonic Open at the Delhi Golf Club here on Friday.

Gangjee (66, 68) was briefly threatened by a superb march from defending champion Wade Ormsby (68, 68), who with five birdies barged into a clubhouse lead of one stroke in the afternoon.

However, his second successive 68 couldn’t support him for long at top. He ended the day on second place with an overall score of eight-under 136.

But it was 2013 India Open champion Siddikur Rahman (70, 67), with two eagles, and Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera (70, 67), who created a stir with their rampant strides in the second round. The two jumped from overnight tied 14th to third place, which they now hold jointly with Australia’s Terry Pilkadaris (69, 68) and India’s Pratap Atwal (69, 68), the All India Amateur Champion and nephew of Arjun Atwal.

With the cut settled at 149, 35 Indians among the 69 made it to the last two days including Rashid Khan (68,70), who slipped from tied third to tied seventh position. He has for company Thai Panuphol Pittayarat and Shubhankar Sharma (73, 65), who with a seven-under, had the best card of the day.

Former India Open champions David Gleeson of Australia and Mardan Mamat of Singapore, however, were among those to miss the cut.

Gangjee, who missed an eagle on the 14th with a chip, dropped his shot twice on 7th and 16th hole but both the times he returned immediately with a birdie to keep his lead intact. The 36-year-old, who rolled in a total of six birdies, made the best use of the driver on the tree-lined course.

“The driver is one of my stronger clubs. I’m confident with it. It’ll be good if I can do this for another two days. I’m the leader so I will definitely feel some pressure,” said Gangjee.
Siddikur, returning to the Asian Tour owing to a lengthy back injury, opened with a 12-foot eagle putt and shot another one with a thirty-footer putt from the edge of the eighth green. The two-time Asian tour champion backed himself with his short game.

Leading scores (after 36 holes, Indians unless mentioned): 134: Rahil Gangjee (66, 68); 136: Wade Ormsby (Aus, 68, 68); 137: Mithun Perera (Sri, 70, 67), Terry Pilkadaris (Aus 69, 68), Pratap Atwal (69, 68), Siddikur Rahman (Ban, 70, 67); 138: Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha 70, 68), Rashid Khan (68, 70), Shubhankar Sharma (73, 65); 139: Jazz Janewattananond (Tha 69, 70), Lionel Weber (Fra 73, 66); 140: Shankar Das (69, 71), Settee Prakongvech (Tha 69, 71), Unho Park (Aus, 69, 71);141: Chikka S (72, 69), SSP Chowrasia (70, 71), Om Prakash Chouhan (69, 72), Choo Tze Huang (Sin, 68, 73).

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