Hua Hin (Thailand), PTI: Aman Raj sunk an eagle en route a superb seven-under 64 which placed him fifth after the second round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage on Thursday.
Raj, who wears a trademark hat while on a golf course, played one of his best rounds as a professional on the Asian Tour as he now lies two shots behind the leader, Poom Pattaropong (67-64).
Three players, Christoffer Baumann (64-68), Choo Tze Huang (65-67) an Zach Murray (68-64) are tied second at 10-under 132.
For the second day running, Aman had an eagle. It was on a par-5 on first day and on the second day he holed his second shot on the par-4 453-yard 12th hole. He was three-under for the front nine and then bogeyed the 10th. But between the 12th and 17th, he hit a purple patch with an eagle and four birdies, but unfortunately closed with a bogey for 64.
Raj, who turned professional in 2016 and went on to top the class at the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) Qualifying School in 2016, was recently fifth at the 2018 Panasonic Open India, his best result so far on the Asian Tour. But he failed to secure his card as he finished 107th on the 2018 Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings.
While Raj was the best Indian, Chiragh Kumar (65-69) is now eight-under 134 and tied-ninth. Among other Indians, Veer Ahlawat (69-66) is T-17, Gaurav Pratap Singh (69-68) is T-29, Amardip Malik (68-70), Abhijit Chadha (66-72) are T-39.
Aadil Bedi (67-72) and Samarth Dwivedi (70-69) are T-53rd, Karandeep Kochhar (67-73) is T-70, Shankar Das (73-68) is T-89 and Kshitij Naveed Kaul (75-67) is T-108.
The top-140 and ties made the 36-hole cut and the next cut will come after 72 holes following which the top-70 and ties will play for the cards which will be given to top-35.
"It has been one of the best seasons since I turned professional. I finished sixth on the PGTI and I've got a few starts on the Asian Tour and I hope to take all those experience and make the best use of it. I played a lot of junior golf with Shubhankar and I was happy to hang out with him in Jakarta recently. He has been playing so well and it’s really motivating to see him do well and follow likewise,” said Raj.
Amandeep Johl, Sunit Chawrasia, Arjun Prasad, Manu Gandas, Divyanshu Bajaj and Tapy Ghai missed the cut.