Faridabad: Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta returned a blistering second round of eight-under-64 to surge ahead by four shots at 10-under-134 at the TATA Steel PGTI Feeder Tour event being played at the Aravalli Golf Course in Faridabad, Haryana.
Nine-time winner Gupta’s incredible round featured two eagles-twos, six birdies and a double-bogey.
There was a three-way tie for second place at six-under-138 between Chandigarh-based rookies Amrit Lal (72) and Shabeg Singh Kooner (69) and Sri Ganganagar’s Sandeep Singh (69).
The cut was declared at six-over-150. Thirty-eight golfers made the cut for the third and final round.
Harendra Gupta (70-64), who was overnight tied ninth, leapfrogged the rest of the field on Wednesday thanks to his outstanding wedge play. Harendra was one-over through four holes after a double-bogey on the fourth where he hit a poor bunker shot and followed that up with a missed putt from two feet.
However, Gupta then made a tremendous recovery that began with birdies on the eighth and ninth. He landed his approach within inches of the flag on the ninth. A couple of quality chip-putts earned him two more birdies on the 11th and 12th.
The seasoned Harendra finally enjoyed a fantastic finish picking up five shots on the last three holes. On the 16th he holed his second shot from 65 yards and on the 17th he again holed his second shot, this time from the bunker, from 30 yards, to pick up consecutive eagle-twos.
Gupta capped the round with another terrific wedge shot from 120 yards on the 18th that resulted in a four feet birdie conversion.
Harendra said, “My wedge play today was probably the best it has ever been. It was unbelievable to make two eagle-twos in succession and then back it up with another birdie right at the end. It was a remarkable recovery considering I was one-over through the first four holes.
“I’ve not had a very consistent season so far so this round will do me a world of good. I’ll need to be accurate with the tee shots in the final round as the fairways are narrow and the rough is up.”
Teenager Amrit Lal, the round one leader, slipped one spot on Wednesday after returning a 72.
Delhi’s Sachin Baisoya carded an error-free seven-under-65 to take a share of fifth place at five-under-139 along with another Delhi golfer Jaiveer Singh Atwal (72).
Gurugram’s Kushal Singh sank two eagle-twos during his round of 70. He ended the second round in tied 10th at three-under-141.
The two Faridabad golfers, Abhinav Lohan (four-under-140) and Ramesh Kumar (one-under-143) were placed tied seventh and tied 12threspectively.