PGTI Players Championship: Digvijay Singh the clubhouse leader on rain-marred day

Digvijay SinghKolkata: Gurgaon-based Digvijay Singh’s three-under-67, his second straight bogey-free round, gave him a two-shot clubhouse lead at 10-under-130 on the rain-marred second day of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Tollygunge Club.

Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi was second in the clubhouse at eight-under-132 as a result of his second round five-under-67.

Play was not possible after 1425 hrs local time on Thursday due to the heavy rain. Out of the total 118 players in the field only 60 players could complete round two on Thursday. The remaining will resume their second round at 0650 hrs on Friday. The cut will be declared at the completion of round two. The third and final round will commence thereafter on Friday.

Digvijay Singh (63-67), the overnight joint leader, followed up his fabulous 63 in round one with a solid 67 to raise hopes of winning his first title in over four years.

The lanky Digvijay, who won his last title at the Panasonic Open India 2012, an Asian Tour event played at the Delhi Golf Club, was in a spot of bother on the opening 10th hole after an erratic tee shot but managed to salvage a par there.

The early par-save by the seasoned Digvijay set the tone for the rest of his round as he hit it with pin-point precision thereafter, collecting all of his three birdies from within four feet. He also made a couple of more tough par-saves on his second-nine.

Digvijay said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been bogey-free in the first two rounds of an event so I’m quite satisfied with my performance so far. Importantly, I’ve kept the errors out. I’ll try to do the same in the final round.

“I had a dodgy start today on the 10th when I hit my tee shot right. However, I managed a good recovery there and saved par. I also made some good pars on the fifth and ninth. I continued to land it close like I had done in round one.

“It’s not been a great season so far but I’d look to turn it around with some good performances at the back end of the season. I just want to play as much as I can in the final stretch of the PGTI season since I might miss an event due to some personal reasons.”

Khalin Joshi (67-65), lying overnight tied sixth, made a move on day two with a brilliant 65. Joshi began the day with a bogey on the first but came roaring back with six birdies. He capitalized on all the three par-5s with birdies.

Khalin said, “It was good ball-striking all the way as I didn’t leave myself too many long putts. However, my problem with the long putts continued as I narrowly missed an eagle from 15 feet on the 10th.

“This is an important week for me. A good performance here in Kolkata would be a huge morale-booster before I head back to the Asian Tour and look to earn my card there with some top finishes in the last stretch of the season.”

Shubhankar Sharma, the joint first round leader, had played 12 holes in round two when play was suspended. He was even-par for the day through 12 holes with his total of seven-under keeping him in contention.

Shubhankar, a winner in Kolkata earlier this year, had an eventful day as he holed out from 160 yards for eagle on the par-4 fourth before hitting it out of bounds on the next hole for a triple-bogey. He then birdied the eighth to stay within three of the leader.

Kolkata’s Shankar Das was third in the clubhouse at six-under-134 after his second successive 67.

Divyanshu Bajaj, another Kolkata-based professional, was also in a strong position when play was halted in the second round. He was two-under through eight holes which took his tally to six-under for the week.

Day 2 Leading Scores (Round 2 incomplete)
130: Digvijay Singh (63-67)
132: Khalin Joshi (67-65)
134: Shankar Das (67-67)