Greater Noida: Local favourite and defending champion Gangesh Khaitan along with 1982 Asian Games gold medalist Amit Luthra and India’s 1983 Cricket World Cup winning cricket captain Kapil Dev shot an identical four-over par 76 for the share of the lead at the top of Indian Golf Union’s All India Senior’s and Mid Amateur Golf Championship 2015 being played here at the Par 72 Jaypee Greens Golf Course here.
Another illustrious name in the field is Arjuna Awardee Lakshman Singh, who won the 1982 Asiad Individual Gold who is placed fourth with a round of six-over par 78. IPS Mann representing Chandigarh is in fifth place a further stroke behind followed by the duo of Vijay Mahtaney of Chennai, playing his first big event and Faizal Kazi from Doha in sixth after carding an eight-over par 80 to stay in the mix.
Over the next two days, the senior amateurs will battle it out for the top six to form the Indian team for the Asia-Pacific Senior Amateur Championship to be played at Qingdao Golf Club in China later this year.
For many years now the Indian Golf Union has been sending senior teams for the Asia-Pacific event with the highlight being a bronze medal finish in 2010 ahead of big guns like Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Delhi’s Vikram Rana leads the IGU Mid-Amateur Championship being played concurrently after two rounds with a score of seven-over 149. On his trail is overnight leader Simarjeet Singh one stroke behind tied with HS Kang of Chandigarh who shot a second round one-over 73 to fire himself into contention.
Seniors – Combined (after 18 holes):
76 Gangesh Khaitan, Amit Luthra, Kapil Dev; 78 Lakshman Singh; 79 IPS Mann; 80 Vijay Mahtaney, Fazal Kazi; 81 Gen RK Yadav, KK Bajoria, Vijay Kumar Bhadana; 82 Achal Nath; 83 HS Bhullar
Mid Amateur (after 36 holes):
149 Vikram Rana (75,74); 150 HS Kang (77,73), Simarjeet Singh (73,77); 155 Gagan Verma (75,80); 159 Sandeep Sandhu (78,81); 166 Darvesh Kumar (86,80), Vijay Yadav (76,90); 167 Rajat Sharma (79,88).