Chikkarangappa rises to top with 65 on day two

·3-min read

Gurugram, Mar 17 (PTI) Defending champion Chikkarangappa S of Bengaluru carded a sublime seven-under-65, the day's joint best score, to emerge as halfway leader with a total of nine-under-135 at the Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship here on Wednesday.

Gurugram's Tapy Ghai (67) and Chandigarh's Harendra Gupta (70) were in joint second place with totals of eight-under-136 at the Rs. 30 lakh event.

The cut was declared at one-over-145. Fifty-six professionals made the cut.

Chikkarangappa (70-65), lying overnight tied 12th and four off the lead, began the day with a flurry of birdies on the first, second and third holes, the latter two being conversions from 12 to 15 feet.

Chikka, a winner of 14 titles, recovered well after his bogey on the fourth with two more birdies on the eighth and ninth.

The 27-year-old had an action-packed back-nine. He dropped a double-bogey on the 10th after finding the hazard twice but came roaring back with birdies on the next two holes. Chikka ended the day in style with a birdie-eagle on the 17th and 18th.

The 25-feet eagle conversion on the 18th was the fifth long putt of the day that he pulled off.

Chikka said, 'I had a terrific start today and was stroking the ball well on the greens. The putts rolled in for me on a consistent basis. I had a disastrous 10th hole but importantly I kept calm and quickly got back into rhythm picking up a couple of strokes over the next two holes.' 'My iron-play was much better today as compared to round one. One hardly finds a flat lie on the fairways at Golden Greens. So in round one I had a tough time dealing with the lie on the fairways which have a lot of slopes.' Tapy Ghai (69-67), who was tied eighth and three off the lead after round one, had nine birdies and four bogeys to show in his round of 67 on Wednesday.

Ghai, a winner on the PGTI, made a chip-in on the third and landed it close on several occasions to set up his birdies during round two.

Harendra Gupta (66-70), the round one joint leader, returned a 70 that featured three birdies and a bogey. He made some gains towards the end after making pars on his first 13 holes.

Chandigarh's Ajeetesh Sandhu, the first round joint leader, slipped to tied fourth at six-under-138 after a round of 72.

Bengaluru's Khalin Joshi, who also struck the day's joint best score of 65, was bunched in tied fourth along with Ajeetesh, Pune's Udayan Mane (67), Patna-based Aman Raj (66) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (68) of Noida.

Delhi's Honey Baisoya, who was a part of the three-way lead in round one, shot a 74 to drop to tied 12th place at four-under-140. PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (69) of Chandigarh was also in tied 12th position.

Rashid Khan (74) was a further shot back in tied 17th place.

Mohd Azhar from Vooty Golf County, Hyderabad, made a hole-in-one on the eighth during his round of 73. However, he missed the cut as his total score read six-over-150. PTI AH AH AT AT