Rohana turns on the heat

TEEN ON CHARGE: Chandigarh's Aadil Bedi of tees off during the second round of the Bengaluru Open on Friday. DH Photo/ Srikanta Sharma R

Anura Rohana shot a sparkling eight-under 64 to hit the front at the halfway stage of the Bengaluru Open Golf Championship here on Friday.

The 45-year-old Sri Lankan's bogey-free effort in windy conditions in the latter half of the day took his 36-hole total to an imposing 13-under 131 at the Karnataka Golf Association course.

While the experienced Anura shot the tournament’s best score to take pole position, 17-year-old rookie Aadil Bedi also hogged the limelight with a classy seven-under 65 that placed him second at 134.

Rohana, who began the day in fourth place and one shot off the lead, sizzled from the very start as he sank birdies on his first two holes, the 10th and 11th. Although he missed a number of short putts on his front nine, Rohana did manage to pick up two more strokes on the 14th and 18th.

Rohana, a winner of five titles including one at the KGA, stepped on the gas on the inward journey, picking up four more birdies. Rohana, who won his last title almost a year back, signed off with a 20-feet birdie conversion on the ninth.

"The good start with birdies on the first two holes really made me believe that it could be my day. Despite the fact that I missed at least six birdie putts from a range of 10 feet, my putting was right up there today. I knocked in a couple of putts from 15 to 20 feet. It was windy today but I handled the conditions well with some good club selection," said Rohana.

Bedi, playing only his fourth professional event, shot the best round of his short professional career so far, a 65, that saw him climb 13 places from his overnight tied 15th. Bedi, who turned pro soon after representing India at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta in August this year, mixed eight birdies with a lone bogey.

Bedi missed an eagle by a whisker on the 11th when his chip stopped an inch from the hole. Thereafter, he went on to make birdie conversions from 30 and 15 feet on the 13th and 17th respectively.  

Round one joint leader Mukesh Kumar of Mhow slipped to tied third at 135 after returning a 69 on day two. Delhi’s Rashid Khan and Patna’s Aman Raj carded scores of 67 to also take a share of third place.

Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta, another joint leader from round one, dropped to tied sixth at 136 after a round of 70. Om Prakash Chouhan (68) of Mhow was also in tied sixth.

Defending champion Udayan Mane of Ahmedabad came up with a 68 to occupy tied eighth at 137. C Muniyappa (69) joined Mane in tied eighth to be the highest-placed Bengaluru golfer.

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Rohana turns on the heat

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