Khalin Joshi storms into second round lead at Classic; Chiragh rises to second

Khalin Joshi PGTIMewat, Haryana: Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi carded a scintillating seven-under-65 to storm into the second round lead at the PGTI Players Championship being played at the Classic Golf & Country Club. He totaled 11-under-133 at the halfway stage.

Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar too produced a 65 to finish the day in second position at nine-under-135, two off the pace.

Khalin Joshi (68-65), one of the most consistent golfers in the current PGTI season with four top-7 finishes from four starts, emerged as a major title contender at the PGTI Players Championship on Wednesday after he notched up eight birdies against a lone bogey in his second round to move up four places from his overnight tied fifth.

Joshi, who last won on the PGTI in early 2015, converted at will from four to six feet for his seven birdies on the first 15 holes. Khalin finally ended the day with a great recovery from the trees on the ninth where he landed his third shot for a tap-in birdie.

“I enjoyed a good outing at Noida last week having finished seventh. The conditions were tough out there with the wind coming into play and I handled it well. The birdie on the last gave me some momentum going into the third round.

“I’ve done well on the PGTI this year but have not been able to carry that form to the Asian Tour. I feel my game is now coming together. I’m now hoping for a few invites to Asian Tour events,” said Joshi, who missed out on his Asian Tour card at the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier this year.

Chiragh Kumar (70-65) shot the day’s best score of 65 along with Khalin to take a giant leap from overnight tied 21st to second place. Chiragh, the reigning Panasonic Open India champion, had a bogey-free day as he sank an eagle and five birdies.

Delhi’s Rashid Khan, the winner in Noida last week, posted yet another brilliant score of 67 to make his way to tied third place at eight-under-136 from his overnight tied 11th. Rashid’s round featured four straight birdies from the 18th to the third.

Chandigarh’s Sujjan Singh, lying overnight tied second, stayed in contention with a steady 70 that placed him in joint third along with Rashid.

Fifth place was shared between round one leader Aman Raj (72) of Patna, Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa (68) and Mukesh Kumar of Mhow (69) at seven-under-137.

The cut fell at two-over-146. Fifty-one professionals and one amateur made the cut.