Rashid moves to the topDecember 23, 2017
Delhi’s Rashid Khan played consistently well to repeat his first day’s performance of five-under-67 on the second day of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship golf. This became the second round’s best score hoisting Rashid to sole lead with an aggregate 10-under-134 at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, a course where he has been doing well over the years.
Rashid Khan had a dream start on Friday as he birdied the first four holes thanks to some extremely accurate iron shots. He established a one-shot lead over Bengaluru golfer Rahil Gangjee, a former resident of this city, who remained the only one to be bogey-free through the first 36 holes. He scored a 68 in the second round to occupy second place at nine-under-135.
Opening round leader and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Shubhankar Sharma of Chandigarh, dropped to third after a 70 that brought his total to eight-under-136.
A two-time Asian Tour winner, Rashid slipped a bit with a double-bogey on the seventh which happened as he could not recover from a tough ‘lie’ in the rough in his first attempt. Rashid recovered well with two long birdie conversions on the ninth and 14th to return to four-under for the day.
He also had a stroke of good luck on the 18th where his approach shot from the rough hit the flag stick and landed two feet from the hole thereby giving him a ‘tap-in’ birdie.
Gangjee also had consistent putting that kept him in the hunt on day two. He went error-free for the second straight day and made a 35-footer for a birdie on the 12th that earned him a lot of applause.
Shubhankar, though, had an off day with the putter. He made pars on the first 10 holes but then picked up the pace with three birdies on the next five holes. But he dropped a bogey on the 16th to close the day two strokes behind the leader.
Local favourite S.S.P. Chawrasia scored four-under-68 in his second round to improve his position by eight spots from overnight’s tied 12th. He shared fourth place with Patna’s Aman Raj at five-under-139.
The scores (top 10, after round two): Rashid Khan (67, 67) 134, Rahil Gangjee (67, 68) 135, Shubhankar Sharma (66, 70) 136, S.S.P. Chawrasia (71, 68) 139, Aman Raj (69, 70) 139, Ajeetesh Sandhu (72, 68) 140, Khalin Joshi (71, 69) 140, Veer Ahlawat (71, 69) 140, Viraj Madappa (70, 70) 140, N. Thangaraja (69, 71) 140, Abhijit Singh Chadha (70, 71) 141.