Om Prakash, Sanjay share second round lead at CG Open

Om-Prakash-Chouhan-Round-2Mumbai: Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow and Lucknow’s Sanjay Kumar shared the spoils in round two of the Rs. 1 crore CG Open, the penultimate event of the 2014 PGTI Super Series, after firing matching scores of six-under-64. Chouhan and Sanjay were joint leaders at the halfway stage at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club as their total scores moved to 10-under-130. Mukesh Kumar, another Mhow-based professional, occupied third place at eight-under-132.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan, who recently won his second title on the Asian Tour, came up with a phenomenal seven-under-63 on Thursday to match the course record at the BPGC. Rashid now shares the course record with Angad Cheema, Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, Ashok Kumar, Rafick Ali Mollah, Karanjit Singh Sandhu and Gurbaaz Mann.

Om Prakash Chouhan (66-64), currently placed fifth in the Rolex Rankings and a winner on the PGTI this year, climbed from overnight tied fifth to the top thanks to a round of seven birdies and a lone bogey. Chouhan, who has been battling fever over the last two days, began well in round two with a birdie on the opening hole. A poor tee shot on the fourth led to him dropping a shot but the 28-year-old rallied with three 10-feet birdie conversions on the sixth, 10th and 14th.

Om Prakash ended the day on a high with a flurry of birdies on the last three holes. He produced some great wedge shots on the 16th and 18th and hit an excellent tee shot on the 17th to set up a short birdie putt.

“I’ve been struggling with fever since yesterday and in that context this is a terrific round. I’m feeling much better as compared to round one and that reflects in the score I shot. I had more energy today and therefore hit the ball longer in contrast to the first round. After a long time all aspects of my game were sharp,” said Om Prakash, who won his last event on the PGTI in July this year at Pahalgam.

Chouhan, a winner of three professional titles, added, “I’ve never had a top-10 here at the BPGC and am looking forward to changing that record this week. I’m very well-placed at this stage and am looking to improve on my 19th position in the Super Series with a good finish here.”

Sanjay Kumar (66-64), the winner in Shillong few weeks back, also fired a 64 on Thursday to climb from tied fifth to joint first. Sanjay made an amazing eight birdies against two bogeys. His longest birdie putt of the day was a 20-footer on the sixth. He also capitalized with birdies on three of the four par-5s, the 16th, 18th and first. He was in with an eagle opportunity on all three occasions.

The 43-year-old Sanjay, currently lying sixth in the Rolex Rankings, said, “I started well and landed it within three feet on three occasions. I also played the par-5s extremely well. I’m carrying the confidence from my win last month. I need to play a solid round on day three in order to be a serious contender in the final round.”

Mukesh Kumar produced a bogey-free 65 to be placed third at eight-under-132. He landed it within two feet on the 10th and third.

Lucknow’s Vijay Kumar and defending champion Chikkarangappa of Bangalore shot scores of 65 and 66 respectively to be one shot behind Mukesh in tied fourth.

Rashid Khan had an astonishing run of one eagle and seven birdies against a double-bogey in his second round of 63. Rashid, who ended the day in joint 13th at four-under-136, canned a 20-feet eagle putt on the first and also had a birdie chip-in on the second. He converted two 15-feet birdie putts as well. His only blemish was the double-bogey on the fourth where he found the hazard.

First round leader Randhir Singh Ghotra slipped to tied 13th after a 72 on day two.

The cut fell at one-over-141 and sixty professionals made the cut.

Anil Bajrang Mane (five-over-145) and Wilson Raj D’Mello (16-over-156), both the Mumbai-based professionals in the field, missed the cut.

Leading Scores after Round 2:

130: Om Prakash Chouhan, Sanjay Kumar
132: Mukesh Kumar
133: Chikkarangappa S, Vijay Kumar