Thangaraja in lead, Jeev slips on second dayDecember 28, 2019, Chandigarh, Jamshedpur
Sri Lankan N Thangaraja shot a superb 9-under 63 to storm into the halfway lead at the season-ending TATA Steel Tour Championship 2019. The 38-year-old from Colombo enjoys a one-shot lead at 15-under 129 at the Rs 1.5 crore event being played at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur.
Indian stars Gaganjeet Bhullar and SSP Chawrasia produced scores of 64 and 67, respectively, to take a share of second place at 14-under 130 along with Kolkata’s Shankar Das (66).
N Thangaraja (66-63), lying tied 9th and four off the lead after Round 1, was in fine ball-striking form and hit his 3-wood tee shots with precision to go error-free on a relatively windier day which also saw the sun emerge for the first time this week.
Thangaraja was off to a blazing start as he claimed birdies on the first four holes with all his putts being within three feet. Thereafter, he came up with a splendid approach from 230 yards on the par-5 ninth that set up a four-feet eagle conversion.
Thanga’s ascent up the leaderboard continued on the back-nine as he landed it within three feet on the 12th, 14th and 18th to pick up three more birdies.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (66-64), who like Thanga, was also in tied 9th and four off the lead after Round 1, came up with a classy 8-under 64 on Day 2 to rise to tied 2nd.
Shankar Das (64-66), who moved up one spot to tied 2nd as a result of his 66 in Round 2, has been bogey-free so far in 36 holes.
SSP Chawrasia’s round of 67 was also a flawless effort. SSP, lying overnight 2nd and one off the lead, began the day with birdies on the first two holes. He then added three more birdies to his card to be in a three-way tie for the second spot.
Indian stars Jyoti Randhawa (65) and PGTI Order of Merit leader Rashid Khan (70), were both in tied 12th with matching totals of 10-under 134.