Abhijit Singh Chadha surges ahead in round two at Rambagh

Abhijit Singh Chadha Round 2Jaipur: Abhijit Singh Chadha of Chandigarh surged ahead by three shots in round two of the PGTI Players Championship at Rambagh Golf Club after a splendid five-under-65 that took his total to 13-under-127. Shankar Das of Kolkata and Bangalore’s Udayan Mane were tied second at 10-under-130 having posted identical scores of one-under-69 on day two.

Abhijit Singh Chadha (62-65), who was overnight third, grabbed the initiative on Wednesday, with a bogey-free 65. The 24-year-old Chadha, a rookie on the Asian Tour this year, tapped-in for birdies on all four par-5s and sank a 20-footer for birdie on the fifth. Abhijit, who started the season with a top-5 at Panchkula, hasn’t been at his best thereafter. The lanky lad from Chandigarh with one title under his belt, has now emerged as a top contender in Jaipur, being three shots clear at the halfway stage.

“I capitalized well on the par-5s today leaving myself easy birdie putts. The only long putt was the 20-footer for birdie on the fifth. It sets me up well for the weekend. I feel the 45-day tour of the United States that I undertook this summer with some other fellow Indian professionals has done me loads of good. I played tournaments on a number of courses in the US with varying playing conditions. I gained a lot of exposure during the trip,” said Chadha, a winner on the PGTI in 2012.

Shankar Das (61-69), the overnight joint leader, followed up his phenomenal opening round of 61 with a sedate 69 that featured four birdies and three bogeys. He was three-under through 15 holes but dropped two bogeys on the last three holes after missing chip-putts.

“I really struggled with my chipping and putting today. It was also windier as compared to round one. The highlight of my round was narrowly missing the hole-in-one on the 13th. However, I still feel I’m in the mix and in with a chance,” said Shankar.

Udayan Mane (61-69), the overnight joint leader along with Das, too slipped to tied second as a result of his 69 on day two. Udayan made four birdies but also had a bogey and a double-bogey. Mane converted a 25-footer for birdie on the sixth. On the 14th, he couldn’t recover after an errant drive and thus dropped a double-bogey.

Mane said, “I was two-over through 12 holes today but fought back well with three birdies thereafter. I told myself after the first that I will finish well if I stick to the process and play without fear. I thus managed to pull it back at the end.”

Chandigarh’s Sujjan Singh and Sri Lankan Anura Rohana were joint fourth at seven-under-133.

Noida’s Rahul Bajaj, who shot the day’s best score of six-under-64, climbed up 38 spots to tied sixth at six-under-134. Bangalore’s Khalin Joshi (66) and Delhi’s Manav Jaini (67) joined Bajaj in tied sixth place.

Kolkata’s Feroz Ali Mollah had the distinction of shooting two eagles during his round of 67 that placed him tied ninth at five-under-135.

Local favourite Vishal Singh of Jaipur was tied 31st at one-under-139. He shot a 68 in round two.

Shubham Narain of Delhi was the lone amateur to make the cut. He too was tied 31st at one-under-139. Narain came up with a solid 66 on Wednesday.

The cut was declared at one-over-141. Fifty-six professionals and one amateur made the cut.