Local favourite Akshay Sharma dished out yet another stellar effort, a four-under-68 in testing conditions at the Chandigarh Golf Club here on Friday, to take the halfway lead at the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational 2020 Presented by TAKE Sports.

Thirty-year-old Akshay, who is riding on the confidence of his win on the PGTI last month, thrived in home conditions to take his tournament tally to nine-under-135 to gain one spot from his overnight tied second at the Rs 1.5 crore event.

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Noida's Amardeep Malik and Gurugram-based Veer Ahlawat shot scores of 68 for the second day in succession to be one shot off the lead in tied second.

Eighteen-year-old Delhi-based rookie golfer Harshjeet Singh Sethie, the tallest player in the field at six feet six inches, struck a fine 67 to be placed fourth at seven-under-137.

Pre-tournament favourite Anirban Lahiri moved up five places into tied fifth at six-under-138, thanks to his second round effort of 68. Others in joint fifth were PGTI Order of Merit leader Udayan Mane (67) of Pune, as well as the Bengaluru duo of first round leader Khalin Joshi (72) and C Muniyappa (67).

Among the other prominent names, Gaganjeet Bhullar (72) was tied 28th at even-par-144, SSP Chawrasia (74) was tied 38th at one-over-145 and Jyoti Randhawa (72) was tied 44th at two-over-146.

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The cut was declared at three-over-147 and 57 professionals made the cut for the money rounds. The big names who missed the cut were reigning PGTI Order of Merit champion Rashid Khan (74), who totalled seven-over-151 and tournament host Jeev Milkha Singh (77), who totaled eight-over-152.

Both Amardeep Malik (68-68) and Veer Ahlawat (68-68) moved up from overnight tied fourth to tied second as a result of their rounds of 68.