Shiv Kapur, Rashid Khan share lead in Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational

35

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.

–IANS

bsk