Friday, September 22, 2023

Tata Open: Md Zamal Hossain Mollah grabs round two lead with a seven-under

Himalayan Paths

Local lad Karan Taunk in tied second along with Manav Jaini and M Dharma

Jamshedpur, Dec 20: Md Zamal Hossain Mollah of Bangladesh fired a seven-under-64 at the Golmuri Golf Club on Friday to grab the round two lead at the 12th TATA Open in Jamshedpur. Zamal’s total score at the halfway stage reads nine-under-134. Delhi’s Manav Jaini, Jamshedpur-based amateur Karan Taunk and M Dharma of Bangalore are in tied second place at seven-under-136.

On Thursday one half of the field had played its 18 holes at the par-72 Beldih Golf Club while the golfers in the other half had completed their rounds at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Club. On Friday both halves of the field switched venues (those who played at Beldih on day one, played 18 holes at Golmuri on day two and vice-versa).

The cut was declared at two-over-145. Sixty professionals and one amateur made the cut. Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (70-64), climbed from overnight tied 17th to the top of the leaderboard after firing eight birdies against a bogey in round two. The 28-year-old landed his chip shots within four feet of the pin to set up birdies on the second and fourth holes. His lone bogey of the day came on the eighth where he missed a short putt.

The man from Dhaka, who has won on the PGTI in the past, then had a flurry of birdies on the ninth, 10th, 12th and 13th. Zamal left himself birdie putts within eight feet on the 10th, 12th and 13th thanks to some outstanding approach shots. Mollah’s excellent iron-play ensured he ended the day with birdies on the last two holes to record the day’s best score that took him to the top of the leaderboard.

“My approach shots were very accurate today. I was also good from around the green as I played some quality chip shots. I drove it well and kept it straight with my irons. It’s a great position to be in after two rounds. I’ve generally played well at Jamshedpur and that adds to my confidence. In fact, I shot a seven-under at Beldih couple of years back. I’ve had seven top-10s so far this season and am placed sixth in the Rolex Rankings. With just two events to go in the season, I would like to make the best of my opportunities this week,” said Zamal.

Manav Jaini (68-68) and local favourite Karan Taunk (67-69), both of whom played at Beldih on Friday, were in tied second, two strokes behind the leader, along with M Dharma (66-70) who played at Golmuri.

Jaini sank five birdies against a lone bogey in his round of four-under-68 as he holed everything from a range of 10 feet and less. Taunk, the only amateur to make the cut, made seven birdies against four bogeys during his round of three-under-69.
Dharma’s round of one-under-70 featured six birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey. He missed out on a hole-in-one by a couple of inches on the 14th.

Gurgaon’s Digvijay Singh, the overnight leader, carded a two-over-74 at Beldih to slip into joint fifth place at six-under-137 along with Delhi golfers Ashok Kumar and Chiragh Kumar and Lucknow’s Vijay Kumar.
Defending champion Mithun Perera (73-67) of Sri Lanka is placed tied 19th at three-under-140. Perera shot a four-over-67 at Golmuri on Friday.

The player who makes the first hole-in-one in the tournament will be rewarded with a TATA Nano.

Top scores after Round 2:
Nine-under-134: Md Zamal Hossain Mollah
Seven-under-136: Manav Jaini
Seven-under-136: Karan Taunk (A)
Seven-under-136: M Dharma

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