Tapy Ghai came up with a spirited effort for the second straight day to storm into the halfway lead in the Gujarat Open Golf Championship at the Kalhaar Blues and Greens Golf Club here on Wednesday.
Twenty-six-year-old Ghai (66-67) of Gurugram, a winner on the PGTI, fired a five-under 67 in round two to move up two spots into pole position at 11-under 133 at the Rs. 40 lakh event.
Delhi’s Kapil Kumar (68-67) also carded a brilliant 67 on Wednesday to occupy second place at nine-under 135. Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (68-69) of Chandigarh was placed third at seven-under 137.
Delhi’s Arjun Prasad shot the day’s best score of 65 to be bunched in tied fourth along with the Kolkata duo of Shankar Das and Sunit Chowrasia, Chandigarh’s Ranjit Singh and Mysuru’s Yashas Chandra MS at six-under 138. The cut fell at five-over 149. Fifty-one professionals made the cut.
Tapy Ghai, lying overnight tied third and two off the lead, had an early bogey on day two on the 11th. However, Tapy recovered ground soon after with birdies on the 12th and 14th, both par-5s, and another birdie on the 15th.
Ghai pushed further ahead on the front-nine sinking a 40-footer for birdie on the third and playing two exceptional bunker shots on the fifth and sixth to pick up a couple of more strokes.
“I didn’t have a great 2021 season. It was below my expectations. So I worked hard on all aspects of my game before the start of the 2022 season. I also put in the hard yards in the gym in order to improve my fitness,” Tapy said.
“I have the advantage of good memories from Ahmedabad as I won my first and only title so far in this very city even though it was at a different course. I also played well during the Gujarat Open last year at Kalhaar.
“I played my bunker shots really well today that helped set up two birdie opportunities. Bunker shots have been one of my strengths for quite some time.”
Kapil Kumar mixed six birdies and a bogey to rise four spots to second place. Kapil’s precision with his tee shot on the 11th led to a tap-in birdie and gave him the much-needed momentum for the rest of the day.
Arjun Prasad’s flawless round featured a 15-feet eagle conversion on the fifth and five birdies. Arjun landed it within inches of the flag on two occasions including once for a great par save from a tight spot in the hazard on the 15th. Prasad’s 65 helped him climb 28 spots on day two.
Karandeep Kochhar, the round one leader, shot a 75 in round two to slip to tied ninth place at five-under 139.
Among the Gujarat-based golfers, Anshul Patel (73-70) was the highest-placed as he occupied tied 17th at one-under 143. The other local golfers to make the cut were Varun Parikh and Shravan Desai, both placed tied 39th at four-over 148.
Olympian and reigning PGTI Order of Merit champion Udayan Mane missed the cut having totaled six-over 150.