Udayan Mane continues domination at Western India Oxford Masters, leads by three at halfway stage

Udayan Mane Action PicturePune: Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane continued his domination at the inaugural Western India Oxford Masters as he shot a determined three-under-69 in round two of the Rs. 30 lakh event at the Oxford Golf Resort in Pune to hold a three-shot lead at the halfway stage. Mane’s two-day total reads an impressive 10-under-134. Abhinav Lohan of Faridabad and Sri Lankan Anura Rohana are placed tied second at seven-under-137.

Udayan Mane (65-69), the overnight leader by two shots, was off to a solid start on Wednesday as he collected a birdie from eight feet on the second before picking up another stroke on the par-5 fourth where he found the green in two. Udayan looked set to get another low number when he sank an eagle on the par-5 ninth for the second day in succession. His immaculate four-iron approach landed within four feet of the pin on the ninth.

After making the turn at four-under, Mane had a contrasting back-nine. His erratic tee shots on the 10th and 13th resulted in a bogey and double-bogey respectively. Udayan, in fact, suffered a lost ball after hitting it out of bounds on the 13th. The saving grace for him on the back-nine were the two chip-putt birdies on the 11th and 13th, both par-5s. He thus ended up with a score of 5-under on the four par-5s in round two.

Mane said, “I played well today even though a couple of bad swings cost me dearly. These things do happen during a round but importantly I came back well from these situations, especially after the double-bogey on the 13th.

“It was a round where I set up myself to match my first round score or probably even improve upon it. However, the back-nine didn’t go as per plan. The ninth is obviously my favourite hole now since I’ve made two consecutive eagles there. It was quite satisfying to score on all the four par-5s today.

“I’ve given myself a good platform to have a shot at the title over the last two days.”

Abhinav Lohan (72-65) took a huge leap from overnight tied 27th to tied second after his round of seven-under-65 which was the day’s best score. Lohan registered eight birdies against a lone bogey on Wednesday. He closed his round with a magnificent 25-footer for birdie on the 18th.

Lohan said, “I’ve been playing well recently. I had shot a seven-under in Jaipur earlier this month. I was going well in round one here until I lost a ball on the front-nine that in turn slowed me down. Even though I missed a few short putts today, the birdie on the last hole really lifted my confidence.”

Anura Rohana (69-68), who was overnight tied fourth, joined Lohan in joint second on day two after his round of 68 that featured five birdies and a bogey.

Bengaluru’s R Murthy made his way up from overnight tied 10th to tied fourth after shooting a 68 on Wednesday that included an eagle, three birdies and a bogey.

Noida’s Vikrant Chopra, Delhi’s Honey Baisoya and Deepinder Singh Kullar of Gurgaon were in tied fifth at five-under-139.

Among the golfers from Maharashtra, Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane was tied 19th at one-under-143 while Pune’s Moinuddin Malak was tied 34th at two-over-146.

The cut was declared at four-over-148. Fifty-six professionals and one amateur made the cut. The lone amateur to make the cut was Kshitij Naveed Kaul. Kaul occupied tied 13th place at two-under-142.