Madappa shoots 66 to rise to tied 7th

Madappa shoots 66 to rise to tied 7th

India's latest winner on the Asian Tour, Viraj Madappa shot 10 shots better than the first round as he carded an impressive six-under 66 to jump to tied seventh spot at the USD 500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship here on Friday.

The drastic improvement in the second round helped Madappa to become the best Indian in the field, moving up to tied seventh spot from overnight tied 80th position.

Madappa, now four shots behind joint leaders, John Catlin and Panuphol Pittyarat, said, "We played in some difficult conditions yesterday and I felt I played a lot better than my four-over. I made a few mistakes yesterday and it got magnified with the conditions.

"It was much easier today and the greens were a little softer. I could go after some flags and I put myself into better positions today."

If Madappa made a 10-shot improvement, Karandeep Kochhar improved his first round card by 13 shots, from 79 to 66 and moved to tied 34th, alongside Rashid Khan (75-70) and Khalin Joshi (72-73).

Ahead of them were Shiv Kapur (74-70) and SSP Chawrasia (72-72), who are placed at tied-19th position.

Himmat Rai (72-74) and S Chikkarangappa (76-70) were the other Indians to make the cut in tied 49th place.

Of the 14 Indians who started on Thursday, six missed the cut and the big surprise was Shubhankar Sharma (75-73), who missed out by one shot.

Also missing by one was Rahil Gangjee (78-70) despite a heroic second round. Udayan Mane (78-72), Jeev Milkha Singh (79-73) and Chiragh Kumar (78-75) also missed the cut. Honey Baisoya withdrew after nine holes in the second round.

Lahiri disappoints

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri had a disappointing opening start at the Safeway Open in Napa, California as he hit a 1-over 73 to lie way down the order after the first round.

On a rather cloudy day at the USD 6.4 million tournament, Lahiri had a birdie early on third but suffered a lapse around the sixth and seventh holes. He three-putted the sixth and then bogeyed the seventh from inside six feet.

Despite getting a shot back on eighth, the Indian was not hitting close enough to give himself chances and when he did have 10-12 feet for makeable putts, Lahiri missed some of them.

Birdies on 11th and 12th showed recovery but Lahiri bogeyed 15th and 17th and missed from just over 10 feet on 17th and from 11-12 feet on 18th.

Meanwhile, rookie Sepp Straka, in his first-ever start on the PGA Tour, birdied the final three holes to post a bogey-free 9-under 63 and grab sole lead with another rookie Chase Wright carding 64 and veteran Phil Mickelson, who reeled off six straight birdies en route to a 7-under 65.