Chattogram: Md Akbar Hossain of Bangladesh kept up the tempo to maintain his lead in round two of the Mujib Borsho Chattogram Open 2022 being played at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club in Chattogram.
Hossain (67-66) carded an excellent six-under 66 to continue to lead by one shot for the second straight day as his total read 11-under 133 at the INR 50 lakh event.
Kshitij Naveed Kaul (71-63) of India produced the day’s best score of nine-under 63 to move up five spots into second position at a total of 10-under 134.
The halfway cut went at five-over 149. Fifty professionals and three amateurs made the cut.
Md Akbar Hossain sank three birdies on the first four holes thanks to some good chip-putts. The 27-year-old Akbar, who hails from Dhaka, conceded a bogey on the fifth but soon added four birdies between the sixth and the 11th. He nearly found the green with his 3-wood tee shot on the par-4 10th to set up an easy birdie.
A 30-feet birdie putt from just off the green on the 15th was one of the highlights of Akbar’s round. He dropped a bogey on the 16th but still ended the day on top of the leaderboard.
Akbar, a professional since 2018 and a full card holder on the PGTI, said, “I continued to hit a lot of greens in regulation for the second successive day. That’s what helped me create many birdie opportunities once again. My hitting has been exceptional so far.
“Even though BGCC is not my home course, I know the conditions well here since I play here quite often and have even had a runner-up finish at a local event at this venue.”
Kshitij Naveed Kaul made an astonishing 10 birdies at the cost of a lone bogey to fall just one short of Indian professional Kapil Kumar’s course record of 62 set in 2018.
The 21-year-old Kaul, a two-time PGTI winner, scored six birdies on the back-nine thanks to some outstanding approach shots and up and downs as he landed it within five feet on five occasions. His lone bogey was the result of a three-putt on the 15th. On the front-nine, Kshitij added four more birdies including a 25-feet conversion on the ninth.
Kshitij said, “I put myself in great positions thanks to my accurate approach shots today. Even when I missed the green, I made some quality chip-putts. I took advantage of all the par-5s draining birdies on all four of them.
“I’ve enjoyed a good start to the season with a top-20 followed by a top-5 result at the two events in Ahmedabad. So I feel my game is in good shape at the moment and I’m looking to build on this foundation over the last two days.”
Bangladesh’s Md Razu continued in third place after shooting a second consecutive 68 that took his total to eight-under 136.
Bangladesh’s premier golfer Md Siddikur Rahman, followed up his first round of 71 with a 66 on Thursday to rise three spots to fourth position at seven-under 137.
Divesh Rana was the next best Indian after Kshitij Naveed Kaul as the former occupied tied fifth place at six-under 138 along with Bangladesh’s Badal Hossain.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, another prominent name from Bangladesh, was placed tied 20th at even-par 144.