Chief Minister’s Meghalaya Open Golf: Amardip charges ahead with a classy 65 in Round 2

Amardeep sinh golfShillong: Amardip Sinh Malik of Noida charged into contention at the Chief Minister’s Meghalaya Open Golf 2016 after a power-packed second round of five-under-65 at the Shillong Golf Club that gave him the halfway lead at five-under-135.

Kolkata’s Shankar Das shot a 66 to be placed second at four-under-136 at the halfway stage of the Rs. 40 lakh event.

Amardip Sinh Malik (70-65), lying tied eighth after a sedate opening round of 70, was on a roll on Friday as he raced away to four-under through the first six holes. The 31-year-old former winner on the PGTI made a tap-in birdie on the third and chipped-in for eagle on the sixth.

Malik, who has two top-5s including a runner-up finish to his credit in the current PGTI season, picked up two more strokes on the 10th and 13th, the latter coming after he drove the green. A three-putt bogey on the 15th was the only blemish on his card.

“I’ve been hitting it well and today I converted my opportunities on the greens too. I had a great start today as I was four-under through six holes. That set up the day for me. It’s important to land it close to the pins here as it’s not easy reading the greens.

“I’ve been working on a few things in my game that I’m also trying out this week. So far the results have been good. Importantly, it was the experience of playing the Tour Q-School in the United States this summer that helped me a great deal. I’ve been playing with a lot of confidence since then,” said Malik.

Shankar Das’ (70-66) magnificent iron-play got him in the mix on day two. The former Rolex Ranking champion’s round featured four straight birdies from the first to the fourth where he kept hitting it within a couple of feet of the pins.

Shankar, a six-time winner on the PGTI, said, “I was really sharp with my irons today. I’ve gone without a title for a year due to some personal problems and lack of form. But now I feel I’m getting back to my best. I’ve also improved on my fitness so there’s a lot to look forward to in the final weeks of the season.”

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane (65-72), the opening round leader, slipped to third place at three-under-137 on day two after posting a 72. He was two-under through 12 holes and looked set to retain his lead before a disastrous stretch between the sixth and the ninth where he dropped five strokes.

Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow and Delhi’s Honey Baisoya shared fourth place at two-under-138.

The cut was declared at seven-over-147. Fifty-seven professionals made the cut.

The three local professionals who made the cut were, Gautam Lama in tied 37th at six-over-146 as well as Jeevan Sharma and Bishnu Chettri both in tied 50th at seven-over-147.

Gaurav Bajaj was the best performing local amateur. He totaled 11-over-151 for the first two days to claim tied 80th place.

Leading Scores after Round 2 (36 holes)

135: Amardip Sinh Malik (70-65)
136: Shankar Das (70-66)
137: Udayan Mane (65-72)
138: Om Prakash Chouhan (69-69); Honey Baisoya (70-68)