Gangjee moves to third in Mizuno Open

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Okayama (Japan), May 29 (PTI) Indian golfer Rahil Gangjee shot a sensational six-under 66, his best round of the year, to climb to the Tied-third after the second round at the Mizuno Open, here on Saturday.

With two spots for the 149th Open at Royal St. Georges, on offer this week, Gangjee has a lot to play for.

In case he makes it, it will be his maiden appearance at a Major. No Indian has booked a spot as yet.

The 42-year-old Gangjee, who has been playing in Japan since his win in 2018, is now 9-under for 36 holes in a tournament that has been truncated to 54 holes after the cancellation of the first round due to bad weather.

After a round 69 that placed him T-28th, Gangjee added a 66 that moved him to T-3 alongside Australian Dylan Perry (67-68).

At a tournament three of the top four are non-Japanese with the leader being Filipino Juvic Pagunsan (66-65), who has been on Japan Tour for close to a decade but is still looking for his maiden win.

Pagunsan is 13-under and three shots clear of veteran Katsumasa Miyamoto (63-71), while Gangjee and Perry are Tied-third at 9-under.

Gangjee, who was T-11 at the Golf Partner Pro-AM last week, was flawless over the front nine and had four birdies, on second, sixth, eighth and ninth.

He dropped his only shot of the day on 10th, but picked a birdie on 11th. Back-to-back birdies on 17th and 18th ensured he finished strong with 66 and was Tied-third.

Gangjee will now play in the second last group in the third round, which will also be the final round. He is paired with Yuwa Kosaihiri and Scott Strange.

Pagunsan, a former Asian Tour No. 1, was 3-under for the front nine and then parred from seventh to 13th, before managing four birdies in the last five holes for his 65.

Miyamoto, runner-up at the Crowns and Japan Players Championship, had four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey in his 71, while Perry was bogey free in his round of 68.

No spectators are allowed this week, though sponsors and selected guests are allowed. PTI Corr AT AT