Vasudeva grabs lead

Rashid, Moin fare miserably in second round

On a day when much of the bandwagon struggled with their games, the 21-year-old played a magnificent round to take command at the half-way stage at the Karnataka Golf Association. Vasudeva, searching for his maiden amateur title, primed his chances after carding a two-under 70  -- the only sub-par score of the day -- to take his two-day total to even-par 144. He thus opened up a four-stroke lead over second-placed Angad Cheema, who struck a three-over 75.

Arshdeep Tiwana carded a four-over 76 to stay third at six-over 150, while overnight leader Moin Malak and title favourite Rashid Khan vanished with dismal performances. Moin, who hit the only sub-par score in round one, produced a shocking 10-over 82 and Rashid almost matched him with a nine-over 81, both tied at nine-over 153.

After a 74 in the opening round, Vasudeva felt a simple approach would fetch him results on the refurbished KGA course. Ranked 11th in the Amateur Order of Merit List, Vasudeva made the perfect start when he birdied the first and second holes. After bogeying the third, he picked up momentum by birdieing the difficult par-5 fifth with a 20-foot chip in, but another bogey on the seventh left him one-under at the turn.

A two-putt from 25 yards on the 11th and a six-foot putt on the next fetched him two more birdies, but a bad drive on the penultimate hole cost him a stroke. “After suffering a slight hit yesterday, I wanted to keep the game simple today,” said Vasudeva.
“The course is such that even a small mistake could end up in a bogey. I focussed on hitting the regulation pars and I am thrilled to be on top.”

Leading scores: 144: Karan Vasudeva (74, 70); 148: Angad Cheema (73, 75); 150: Arshdeep Tiwana (74, 76), Pawan Kumar (75, 75); 151: Simarjeet Singh (74, 77), Gagan Verma (74, 77), Abhijit Chadha (78, 73); 152: Rahul Bajaj (74, 78), 153: Moin Malak (71, 82), Rashid Khan (72, 81), Rahul Bakshi (79, 74).

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