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Amardip Sinh Malik sounds a warning with second straight 65

Jamshedpur, Dec. 18: Amardip Sinh Malik of Noida returned a second straight bogey-free six-under-65 to emerge the clubhouse leader on day two of the 14th TATA Open 2015, a Rs. 75 lakh event being played at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur. Malikís two-day tally of 12-under-130 placed him one shot ahead of Delhiís Vinod Kumar and Bengaluruís Abhishek Jha.

A one-hour fog delay in the morning resulted in an unfinished round on Friday. Twelve players out of a field of 119 were yet to complete their second round when play was suspended due to fading light. The 12 players will complete round two on Saturday morning before the cut is made. Round three will only begin from 0830 hrs.

Amardip Sinh Malik (65-65), who was overnight tied third, looked in ominous form from the very start as he made an eagle-two on the 12th, his third hole of the day. He drove the par-4 green on the 12th before sinking a 10-footer for eagle. Malik, a winner on the PGTI last year, then made merry on the 14th and 17th, both par-3s, with birdie conversions from five feet and 15 feet respectively.

Amardip carried on the good work on the front-nine making a brilliant recovery from the hazard on the third where he ended up extracting a par from eight feet. A couple of top-class drives fetched the 30-year-old birdies on the fifth and eighth. He thus signed off with a second straight bogey-free effort.

ďI didnít hit it as well as round one but felt more in control today and was also quite patient. The wind foxed me a bit as it was swirling around but the eagle early on set me up well. I really felt the momentum going my way when I sank an eight feet par putt after taking a penalty drop from the hazard on the third. I made a few more crucial putts on the fourth and sixth, having two-putted from over 40 feet for pars on both occasions,Ē said Malik.

He went on to add, ďItís great to be bogey-free at the halfway stage. Itís also nice to be able to finish despite the fading light. I got the monkey off my back by winning my maiden title last year. Iím now more relaxed going into the business end of the tournament as the leader.Ē

Vinod Kumar (66-65), lying overnight seventh, produced nine birdies against three bogeys in his second round of 65. After a seven foot birdie miss on his opening hole, the 10th, Vinod regrouped with four straight birdies from 11 to 14. He drove the par-4 12th green and landed it within six feet on the 11th, 13th and 14th. The 2011 TATA Open champion sank it from seven feet for birdie on the 16th but also conceded bogeys with three-putts on the 15th and 17th.

Vinod, a winner of two professional titles, then exhibited some tremendous wedge-play to recover well from the bunker, the bunker wall and the hazard, on the first, third and fourth respectively for two birdies and a par. The 35-year-old then made his third three-putt of the day to drop a shot on the sixth before closing with consecutive birdies on the eighth and ninth. Kumarís 15-feet birdie putt on the ninth was his longest conversion of the day.

Vinod said, ďIt was a mixed day for me today on the greens. I made some important putts but also had three three-putts and missed some from short range today. Importantly, I recovered really well from some tough situations in round two.Ē

Abhishek Jha (63-68), the first round leader, slipped to joint second after his second round of three-under-68 which featured five birdies and two bogeys. It was an up and down day for Jha, who chipped-in for birdie on the fourth and also four-putted for bogey on the 12th. He came back into contention with birdies on the 13th and 16th to end the day in tied second along with Vinod.

Bengaluruís C Muniyappa and Kolkataís Feroz Ali Mollah were tied for fourth at nine-under-133 with both shooting scores of five-under-67 on Friday.

Defending champion Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow lies tied sixth at eight-under-134 along with Faridabadís Abhinav Lohan and R Murthy of Bengaluru. Chouhan posted an error-free 65 on day two.

Jamshedpur lad Karan Taunk was in tied 40th place at even-par-142 after his second round of three-under-68.

Akshay Sharma of Chandigarh, who could complete only 15 holes on Friday, had an outstanding run of six consecutive birdies from the 12th to 17th. He was four-under for the day in tied 40th place with an even-par total.

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