PGTI Players Championship: Shivendra Singh Sisodia grabs halfway lead

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Shivendra Singh Sisodia of Gurugram struck a blistering nine-under 63, the tournament’s best round so far, to grab the halfway lead at the PGTI Players Championship 2022 here on Wednesday.

Gurugram-based Sisodia (68-63), lying overnight tied fifth and two off the lead, totaled 13-under 131 following his career-best round to enjoy a two-shot advantage at the top.

Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (67-66) came up with a flawless 66 on Wednesday to be placed second at 11-under 133.

Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha (66-69), the first round leader, slipped to third position on day two following a 69 that moved his total to nine-under 135.

The cut was declared at one-over 145. Fifty-seven professionals made the cut. Shivendra Singh Sisodia, searching for his maiden title, began the day with a bogey on the first where he missed a short putt. However, Shivendra, who has so far endured a tough start to the season with his best in six events being a 23rd place finish, began to turn it around with his birdie on the second where he recovered from the bunker lip with a great up and down.

Sisodia’s outstanding wedge shots and putting then earned him three more birdies on the front-nine followed by four consecutive birdies from the 10 to the 13th. Shivendra, who recovered from the trees on several occasions in round two, then chipped-in for birdie on the 16th before picking up another stroke on the 17th to end up just one short of Sunit Chowrasia’s course record set at the last edition of the same event in 2020.

Sisodia said, “I had a very good putting stroke today and I read the lines well. I also drove it really well that helped me place the ball in good positions and thereby create birdie chances. The wind was only a factor in the first half of the day. I handled the conditions well.

“I found the trees several times but managed to get myself out of trouble on all those occasions extracting birdies most of the time. The terrific par-save on the ninth was probably the highlight of my round. I didn’t have a clear shot from the trees on the ninth but managed to make a quality up and down there. That was a huge confidence-booster. I’m delighted to have shot my career-best score.”

Md Zamal Hossain Mollah had an error-free day. Zamal made a slow start with pars on the first eight holes as he struggled with his hitting on the front-nine. Mollah, driving it well for the second day in succession made an exceptional par-save on the 10th that lifted his game. He then picked up five birdies on the back-nine.

Abhijit Singh Chadha made the par-5s count as he was five-under on the four par-5s which included an eagle on the 13th where he found the green in two shots. The standout feature of Abhijit’s game was his chipping from around the green which set up three tap-in birdies for him.

Tricity golfer Angad Cheema shot a 67 that featured an eagle-two on the 17th. Cheema occupied tied fourth place at eight-under 136 along with Gurugram’s Kartik Sharma who fired a 69.

Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (67) was tied sixth at seven-under 137 along with Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia (65).

Udayan Mane (68) was in eighth place at six-under 138.

Defending champion Karandeep Kochhar (69) of Chandigarh ended the day in tied 11th at four-under 140.

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