Kuala Lumpur, Oct 30 (IANS) Leading Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri put up a better performance as he scored five-under 67 in the second to jump 12 places to be tied 21st in the $7 million CIMB Classic here on Friday.
World No.37 Lahiri, who scored a 70 on Thursday, enjoyed a flying front nine with an impressive 31 that includes birdies on the second, third, ninth holes and an eagle on the par-five fourth hole.
The current Asian Tour leader lost the steam on his back-nine with a bogey on the 15th against a birdie on the 17th for a 67 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course.
The 28-year-old has a two-day total of seven-under 137 and trails halfway leader Justin Thomas of the United States, who shot a sparkling 61, by eight shots.
Lahiri, a seven-time winner on the Asian Tour, will draw from the happy memories of his heroics at the Malaysian Open, held at the same venue in February, where he entered the third round nine shots off the pace but won the tournament with a 14-under weekend that included a third round 62.
“I’m feeling good with my game, energy level is good, which I’m happy about. So hopefully I’ll have another big weekend like I did at the Malaysian Open,” Lahiri said in a release.
“I got off to a good start. And on the back nine I was terrible on the greens. I think I gave myself a lot of chances on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, and just didn’t make anything. I got a little frustrated I think after the 14th hole miss,” said the Bengalurean.
“We were standing on the tee for a long time, because a lot of groups got held up as it was drivable. And I just lost my concentration sitting around and got a little stiff. And then I made a bogey on the 15th … that’s not what I needed.”
Other Indian in the fray, S.S.P. Chawrasia dropped eight places to ve tied 71st following a two-over 74. He has a tow-day total of two-over 146.
American Thomas shot a stunning career low 11-under 61 to snatch the halfway lead.
The 22-year-old Thomas produced a master class performances in rewriting a new low score at the course, sinking one eagle and nine birdies to lead by one from countryman Brendan Steele, who came home in 63.
Overnight leader Scott Piercy settled for a 69 to lie two off the pace alongside Spencer Levin (64) and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (66) in the tournament sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour.
Defending champion Ryan Moore, bidding a three-peat at the CIMB Classic, carded a 69 to lie in tied 15th place on 136, some seven shots back of the lead.