International winners Shiv Kapur and Rashid Khan were sharing the lead at the halfway stage of the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational 2021 here on Friday.
While Dubai-based Kapur (64-68) went bogey-free for the second day in succession with a four-under 68, Delhi-based Rashid (65-67) brought in a card of five-under 67 featuring seven birdies and two bogeys as both players enjoyed the joint second-round lead at 12-under 132.
Chandigarh’s Aadil Bedi (68-65) shot the day’s best score of seven-under 65 to move up five spots to third place at 11-under 133.
The cut was applied at even-par 144 and 60 professionals and two amateurs made the cut.
Tournament host Jeev Milkha Singh (75-72) missed the cut despite a steady even-par 72 in round two. He totaled three over 147 for the week.
Kapur, who admitted to being rusty at the start of the week having not played a tournament for about a month, seemed to have shaken off the rust as he maintained his position as the joint leader for the second straight day.
The six-time international winner Kapur, who began his round from the 10th, had a scrappy start as he made pars on the first six holes. He then found the hole from a range of seven to eight feet for his three consecutive birdies from the 16th through the 18th.
On the front-nine, Kapur was steady with eight pars and a lone birdie on the sixth where he sank his longest putt of the day, a 15-footer.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan jumped from overnight third to tied first. Khan was one-under through the front-nine and then pushed ahead with a four-under on the back-nine. Khan attributed his low score to his good course management.
Aadil Bedi’s 65 brought him into contention. Bedi, who has just recovered from a wrist injury that kept him out of action from three PGTI events in September, sank a 40-footer for birdie on the 15th and converted four more birdies from a range of 10 to 15 feet.
Delhi’s Kshitij Naveed Kaul produced a second consecutive 67 to occupy a fourth place at 10-under 134. Chandigarh’s Abhijit Singh Chadha slipped from the overnight joint lead to tied fifth at nine-under 135 following his second round of 71.
Three-time Asian Tour winner Gaurav Ghei of Delhi was also tied for fifth as a result of his 68 on Friday. Olympian Udayan Mane (68) is tied ninth at seven-under 137.
Among the other marquee names in the field, former champion Ajeetesh Sandhu of Chandigarh was tied 11th at five-under 139 while another former champion Chikkarangappa of Bengaluru was a further shot back in tied 15th. SSP Chawrasia lies tied 18th at three-under 141.
Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar (70), the defending champion and PGTI Order of Merit leader, is placed tied 21st at two-under 142 along with Jyoti Randhawa.
Gaganjeet Bhullar was in tied 34th place at one-under 143.