Monday, January 30, 2023

Rashid shoots 4-under-67 to maintain Tata Open lead

Jamshedpur players miss the cut

Jamshedpur, Dec 21: Delhi’s Rashid Khan held on to his one-shot lead on day two of the 17th Tata Open 2018, the PGTI’s season finale, with a four-under-67 that pushed his total up to 13-under-129 at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Friday.

Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, the 2014 champion, also delivered a 67 in round two of the Rs. 1 crore event to be placed second at 12-under-130.

However, the best round of the day belonged to veteran Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, a three-time champion at the Tata Open. Mukesh signed for an error-free eight-under-63 to rise 23 places to third at 11-under-131.

The halfway cut fell at three-under-139. Fifty professionals progressed to the money rounds.
Rashid Khan (62-67), seeking a second title in two weeks on the PGTI, kept the birdies coming on day two as he made a chip-in and some top-class chip-putts to stay ahead of the rest. Rashid mixed six birdies with two bogeys and was two-under on both the back-nine and front-nine.

The 27-year-old Khan said, “I didn’t hit it as well as round one and was struggling with my irons today. Both my bogeys came as a result of some ordinary wedge shots.
“The big positive was making two birdies on the last three holes. That helped me close the round on a high.”
Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67) improved from overnight tied second to lone second as he grabbed most of his opportunities on the greens. The 30-year-old from Madhya Pradesh was even-par for the day till the eighth but then sank four birdies over the next eight holes to stay in touch with the lead.

Chouhan said, “I made some long putts today including a 12-footer for birdie on the 14th. I’ve been playing well since the last four events. I just need to close the week well now. I’ve decided not to be too aggressive over the weekend this time as that strategy has cost me dearly in the recent past.”

Mukesh Kumar’s (68-63) bogey-free 63 propelled him from overnight tied 26th to third place. Mukesh, who last won the TATA Open in 2015 after prevailing in a three-way playoff, judged the green speed to perfection on day two. The 53-year-old sank two long birdie putts and set up four birdies within a range of three feet.

Mukesh said, “I judged the green speed really well today and that made all the difference in my score. I’ll enjoy competing with the youngsters on the weekend.”

Delhi’s Kapil Kumar (66) was in fourth place at 10-under-132.

Among the prominent names, Bengaluru-based Chikkarangappa was tied fifth at nine-under-133 while defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka and Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi were both in tied 19th at six-under-136.

All the Jamshedpur players, two professionals and three amateurs, missed the cut.

Round 2 Leaderboard:
13-under-129: Rashid Khan (62-67)
12-under-130: Om Prakash Chouhan (63-67)
11-under-131: Mukesh Kumar (68-63)
10-under-132: Kapil Kumar (66-66)

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