PGTI Players Championship: Defending champ Honey Baisoya moves ahead in round two

Honey Baisoya Round 2 leaNoida: Delhi’s Honey Baisoya, the defending champion, posted a solid three-under-69 to establish a one-shot lead in round two of the PGTI Players Championship at Noida Golf Course. Baisoya’s total read nine-under-135 at the halfway stage of the Rs. 30 lakh event.

Round one leader Aman Raj (71) of Patna slipped to second place at eight-under-136.

The cut fell at three-over-147. Fifty-seven professionals made the cut.

Honey Baisoya (66-69) shot a 69 that helped him move up from overnight tied second to first place. Baisoya displayed the kind of form that saw him win at the Noida Golf Course earlier this year.

Honey, a three-time winner on the PGTI, dropped bogeys on the 11th and 13th, before rallying with consecutive birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th where he came up with some outstanding wedge shots. The 21-year-old Baisoya, who made the turn at even-par after a bogey on the 18th, produced a flawless front-nine, adding three more birdies to his card to end up with an imposing nine-under. 

Baisoya said, “I’ve done pretty well with 13 birdies in the tournament so far. This is not an easy course to score low once the wind comes into play as it did today. Importantly, I’ve been striking it really well and have been aggressive on the first two days.

“I recovered extremely well today despite the early setbacks. I’m now looking at scoring 11-under over the next two days to take my total to 20-under which should be good enough for the title,” added Honey whose 69 was the day’s joint best score.

Aman Raj (65-71) too had a slow start like Baisoya as he dropped a couple of strokes on the first five holes. Aman was thereafter denied birdies as his putts lipped out on multiple occasions. But the former 2016 Emerging Player of the Year turned it around with a chip-in birdie on the seventh. That was followed by two more birdies on the eighth and ninth.

Aman Raj said, “I was striving for a birdie all day but when I saw my chip roll in on the seventh it gave me a lot of satisfaction and confidence. I knew I was still in the game at that stage. I fought my way back into the match thereafter. The approach on the ninth was special as it landed three feet from the pin and led to another birdie.

“I’ll need to grind it out from here on and just repeat what I did in the first two rounds.”

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane kept himself in contention as he closed the second round in third place at seven-under-137. Gurgaon’s Shivendra Singh Sisodia was another shot back in fourth.

Vikrant Chopra was the highest-placed among the Noida golfers. He was tied fifth at five-under-139.

Noida golfers Amardip Sinh Malik (three-under-141) and Gaurav Pratap Singh (two-under-142) were placed tied 13th and tied 17th respectively.

Among the other Noida golfers who made the cut, were Dipankar Kaushal (tied 20th at one-under-143), Rahul Bajaj (tied 29th at even-par-144), Arjun Singh Chaudhri, Raju Singh and Vikram Rana (all in tied 47th at three-over-147).