C Muniyappa cards 65 to emerge halfway leader at CG Open; 15-yr-old Aadil Bedi in tied 12th

C Muniyappa CG OpenMumbai: Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa emerged as the halfway leader at the CG Open 2016 after he carded a five-under-65 in round two at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club (BPGC) on Thursday. Muniyappa’s two-day total stood at 11-under-129 at the Rs. 1 crore event.

Delhi’s Kapil Kumar was two shots off the lead in second place as a result of his second round of three-under-69.

While Mhow’s Om Prakash Chouhan shot the week’s best of 61 to rise to tied third at eight-under-132, 15-year-old junior amateur Aadil Bedi of Chandigarh, the youngest player in the field, shot a second straight 67 to be tied 12th at six-under-134.

The cut was declared at one-over-141. Fifty-five professionals and two amateurs made the cut.

C Muniyappa (64-65), who began the second round one shot off the lead in tied second, had a slow start to the day as he missed putts from seven to 10 feet on the 10th and 11th that even led to a bogey on the latter.

The 39-year-old former Indian Open champion then turned on the heat on the greens with four birdie conversions from 10 to 15 feet besides an excellent chip for a tap-in birdie on the first. However, it was the 35-feet birdie conversion on the closing ninth that was the highlight of his round.

Muniyappa said, “I missed some putts early on but then I regained my confidence with the putter after converting a couple of long putts on the 13th and 16th. The three-putt for par on the 18th was the only disappointment.

“I’ll look to achieve a target of 18-under this week in order to have a shot at the title. However, I must admit that it won’t be as easy shooting low scores in the last two rounds as there will be more pressure.

“I’m currently 14th in the Rolex Ranking and looking to push ahead in the last three events of the season. The CG Open provides me a great opportunity to move up in the money list and stake a claim for the Rolex Ranking title.”

Kapil Kumar (64-67) followed up his opening round of 64 with a 67 in round two to continue in second place at nine-under-131. Kapil’s round featured eight birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

Kapil said, “I had a good run of four straight birdies from the 18th to the third. After the chip-in birdie on the third, I was four-under through 12 holes and looking to hit a double-digit total today. However, I double-bogeyed the fourth after landing it in the water. That took away the momentum from me.

“Nonetheless, I’m well-placed at the moment and looking to go one better from my runner-up finish last week.”

Om Prakash Chouhan’s nine-under-61 was the best score of the week so far and it propelled him from overnight tied 48th to tied third at eight-under-132. The Mhow lad was 10-under through 17 holes thanks to an eagle and eight birdies before he three-putted on the closing ninth for his only bogey of the day.

Chouhan said, “I putted much better today as compared to yesterday and was well on course to equal my own course record here before I bogeyed the final hole. It was a terrific round as I hit the greens in regulation on all holes.

“I have some great memories of the BPGC having set the course record here with a 10-under-60 back in 2014. I had finished runner-up on that occasion. Whenever I play at this course, I know I can shoot an eight to 10-under on any given day. That is the kind of confidence I have while playing at BPGC.”

Chouhan shared the third spot along with Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu and Panchkula’s Shubhankar Sharma at eight-under-132.

Aadil Bedi (67-67) produced a bogey-free 67 on day two to move up four places from his overnight tied 16th. The 15-year-old Bedi, India’s leading junior and the youngest player in the field at the CG Open, has made seven birdies at the expense of just one bogey in the tournament so far.

Importantly, Aadil has now made the cut in both professional events he has played so far. The class 10th student from Chandigarh had finished tied 51st in his first appearance at a professional event (TAKE Open) last month in Bengaluru.

Defending champion Ashok Kumar (66) of Delhi closed the day in tied 19th at four-under-136.

The Mumbai duo of professional Anil Bajrang Mane (70) and amateur Akash Modi (69) also occupied tied 19th place. Mane made the cut at his home course after three years.

Leading Scores after Round 2 (36 holes):

129: C Muniyappa (64-65)

131: Kapil Kumar (64-67)

132: Mukesh Kumar (67-65), Ajeetesh Sandhu (66-66), Shubhankar Sharma (63-69), Om Prakash Chouhan (71-61)