Joshi takes Chennai ahead

Joshi takes Chennai ahead

Chadha's 66 keeps Bengaluru in contention

Joshi takes Chennai ahead

 Joint pace-setter Khalin Joshi stepped on the accelerator in superb fashion to power his side TAKE Chennai to a commanding lead in the second and penultimate round of the Louis Philippe Cup here on Friday.

Making the most of home course conditions on a glorious day at the Karnataka Golf Association, the in-form 22-year-old blasted a blemish-free seven-under 65 to walk away with plenty of applause. With his team-mates, the seasoned SSP Chawrasia and S Chikkarangappa carding 71s, Chennai opened up a healthy five-shot lead after totalling 276.

Defending champions Navratna Ahmedabad, tied fourth after the opening round, bounced back into contention with the Sri Lankan duo of Anura Rohana (68) and Mithun Perera (70) producing fine performances to lift their side to second place. Abhijit Singh Chadha smashed a brilliant 66 to help Zion Hills Bengaluru rise to third at 282 despite local pro C Muniyappa (73) and Rahil Gangjee (75) faltering.

Joshi made a sizzling start to the day, birdieing the second hole before sinking a 10-foot eagle on the par-5 fifth. He then chipped a 15-foot downhill birdie on the ninth to draw huge cheers from the clubhouse and used that momentum for fine eight-foot birdies on the 11th and 12th.

With a good crowd following him including his father, Joshi, didn’t disappoint any of them. He played some solid throughout, holing out a 16-foot birdie on the 16th and then parring the remaining two holes to cap a fine day in the office.

“I played really well today,” said a delighted Joshi. “I’m happy with the way I struck the ball and importantly, I’m very happy with the way I putted today. I could have had birdies on the 13th and 17th which would have made for a much better reading but I guess I should not be too jealous. It’s nice that the team is in lead and we hope to complete the job tomorrow,” he added.

Chadha was another individual show-stealer on the day, firing six birdies and an eagle. He started off in a blazing fashion, nailing birdies on the second, third, fifth and sixth. Bogeys on the seventh and ninth applied speed-breakers to his charge but the 23-year-old hit back brilliantly, firing an eagle on the 11th to negate the damages. He then birdied the 12th and 17th to single-handedly keep Bengaluru in the hunt.

Scores (after 36 holes, only the two best individual scores of the day considered for computation): 276: TAKE Chennai (Khalin Joshi 65, S Chikkarangappa 71, SSP Chawrasia 71); 281: Navratna Ahmedabad (Anura Rohana 68, Mithun Perera 70, Shankar Das 72); 282: Zion Hills Bengaluru (Abhijit Singh Chadha 66, C Muniyappa 73, Rahil Gangjee 75), Laqshya Mumbai (Jyoti Randhawa 69, Manav Jaini 73, Mukesh Kumar 76); 284: Dev-Ellora Pune; 285: Jaypee Greens Greater Noida; 288: DLF The Crest Gurgaon.

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