Rashid takes flight with course record of nine-under-63

Rashid-Khan---Round-3-cg-openSrinagar: Delhi’s Rashid Khan took centre-stage on day two of the PGTI Kashmir Masters presented by KEO after shooting a course record nine-under-63 at the Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar. Rashid’s phenomenal round that featured two eagles, besides six birdies and a bogey, pushed him to pole position at 13-under-131 at the halfway stage. Chikkarangappa S of Bangalore occupied second place at 11-under-133.

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

Rashid Khan (68-63) moved up to the top of the leaderboard from overnight tied sixth place after a sizzling record score of nine-under-63 on Thursday. The reigning Rolex Rankings champion was off to a terrific start as he chipped-in for eagle on the 10th. Rashid gained two more strokes on the 11th and 15th to make the turn at four-under.

The wiry 22-year-old continued to fire on all cylinders on his second-nine as well. After a birdie-bogey on the first and second, Khan had a hat-trick of birdies on the next three holes. He rounded off the day with his second chip-in eagle of the round on the seventh to end up with the course record.

“It’s great to have set a new course record. I made a lot of putts today as compared to round one. Importantly, I had a good start on both the front-nine and back-nine today. I began the day with a chip-in on the 10th and took all my chances from there on. My longest putt of the day was the 40-footer on the fourth. It was also nice to close the day with a chip-in for eagle on the seventh,” said Rashid.

He added, “I’ve being playing well since last week, having shot a seven-under at Pahalgam. Today’s round has set me up for the next two days. I don’t have a number in mind for the next two days but just want to take one round at a time and enjoy myself here.”

Chikkarangappa (65-68), the overnight leader, slipped to second place on day two. Chikka, like Rashid, also chipped-in for eagle on the seventh. He also made three birdies and a bogey in his round.

Chikka said, “The putts didn’t roll in for me today. However, I continued to strike it well. The 30-feet birdie putt on the 13th was my longest putt conversion in two weeks. I feel I have the momentum going into the last two days.”

The seasoned Jyoti Randhawa followed up his first round of 69 with a 67 in round two to be placed third at eight-under-136.

Shubhankar Sharma of Gurgaon, Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha and Delhi golfer Vinod Kumar are in joint fourth at seven-under-137.

Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee, Khalin Joshi of Bangalore and Sri Lankan K Prabagaran are a further shot behind in tied seventh place.

Kolkata golfers SSP Chowrasia and Divyanshu Bajaj took a share of 10th place along with Delhi’s Manav Jaini at five-under-139.