Suri ups the ante, takes sole lead

Suri ups the ante, takes sole lead

Julian Suri during Indian Open Golf tournament in New Delhi on Friday

American Julian Suri mastered the tough DLF Golf & Country Club course for the second straight day to jump to a two-shot lead at the Hero Indian Open golf on Friday.

Suri, who shared the overnight lead with Stephen Gallacher, shot a 67 for the second successive time to head into weekend rounds as the sole leader. He left behind South African George Coetzee, and Swede Robert Karlsson, who were tied at eight-under. Trailing them a shot further was England’s Callum Shinkwin and Australian Scott Hend, who shot the only bogey-free round of the week, were at seven-under.

With the cut declared at two-over-146, seventy golfers made the cut. However, only 8 Indians out of the 37 Indians did.

Suri picked up six shots, including an eagle in the first nine, to surge ahead from the group. His back-nine, however, was rather quiet and was marked by a bogey on the 16th.

“I put the foot down but I had the same mindset I had on the first nine,” he said. “I hit it really well the whole day and I just tried to free it up a little bit on the second nine with my putting.”

Khan, Sharma top Indians

Rashid Khan and Shubhankar Sharma shot contrasting second rounds of 70 and 73 respectively and were the best Indian hopes ahead at the midway stage. The two were tied 19th with a tally of two-under-142, trailing Suri by 8 shot.

Rashid (72,70) made significant gains in round two as he climbed 27 spots from his overnight tied 46th after mixing four birdies with two bogeys for a 70. “Shooting an under-par round on this course is always an encouraging sign so I’m quite satisfied with today’s effort,” he said.

Shubhankar (69, 73) slipped 12 spots on Friday after a sedate 73 that saw him make two birdies and three bogeys. “A one-over is not what I had expected today. I didn’t feel like I played bad but missing crucial putts on the front-nine made a lot of difference. I was just struggling to make pars on the front-nine,” he said.

Chikkarangappa (70) and Rahil Gangjee (74) were the next best Indians in tied 41st at 144. Ajeetesh Sandhu (71) was tied 53rd. The trio of Gaganjeet Bhullar (74), Gaurav Pratap Singh (73) and two-time Indian Open champion SSP Chawrasia (72) also made it to the weekend as they totalled 146 to be placed tied 61st.

The prominent Indian names that missed the cut were 2015 champion Anirban Lahiri (148), Shiv Kapur (148), Khalin Joshi (149) and Jyoti Randhawa (six-over-150).