Dipankar Kaushal maintains two-shot lead in round two

dipankar kaushalNoida’s Dipankar Kaushal followed up his fiery first round of eight-under-62 with a steady one-under-69 in round two to maintain his two-shot lead at the PGTI Feeder Tour event being staged at the Palms Golf Club & Resort, Sushant Golf City, Ansal API in Lucknow.

The 32-year-old Kaushal (62-69) totalled nine-under-131 at the end of day two of the 2018 Feeder Tour season’s sixth and last event.

Lucknow golfers Rajesh Kumar Rawat (64-69) and Amardeep Rawat (65-69) continued in second and third place respectively for the second day in succession. Rajesh’s total stood at seven-under-133 while Amardeep had a tally of six-under-134.

The cut fell at two-over-142. Forty-four golfers made the cut out of a total of 82.

Dipankar, currently 15th on the Feeder Tour Order of Merit thanks to two top-10s in the season, now goes into the final round of an event as the leader for the first time in his career.

Kaushal, searching for his maiden title, began the second round with a birdie on the first. However, he lost some momentum by dropping strokes on the sixth and 10th courtesy a three-putt and a poor drive.

Dipankar then made a comeback on the back-nine with some brilliant iron-play. He almost made a hole-in-one on the 12th where his tee shot stopped two inches from the hole to set up an easy birdie. Kaushal then drove the green on the par-4 17th with his three-iron before making a two-putt for birdie there.

Kaushal said, “I didn’t hit it as well today as I had done in round one. The putts also didn’t roll in for me. However, a couple of exceptional tee shots on the back-nine helped me maintain my lead.

“In the final round, I’ll just look to repeat what I’ve done over the first two days.”

Local lad Rajesh Kumar Rawat built on his first round effort of 64 with a solid 69 on Wednesday that featured three birdies and two bogeys. The highlight of his second round was a spectacular chip on the 16th that led to a tap-in birdie.

Rawat, a former winner on the Feeder Tour, said, “The third place finish at the Lucknow Golf Club last week really helped my confidence. I’ve been quite consistent since then. I’m two off the lead now, so it’s all about creating those opportunities early during the final round.”

Amardeep Rawat, another Lucknow-based golfer who was runner-up at last week’s event, had an eventful second round as he produced an astounding two eagles along with two birdies at the cost of three bogeys and a double-bogey.

Feeder Tour Order of Merit leader Pawan Verma of Delhi returned an even-par-70 on day two to be placed tied seventh at four-under-136.

Kapurthala’s Ashbeer Saini, currently second in the Order of Merit, made the cut by one shot as he totalled two-over-142 to be tied 35th.

Gurugram-based Dhruv Sheoran, presently ranked third in the Order of Merit, posted the second day’s best score of 64 to be placed tied 17th at one-under-139.