SSP Chawrasia lies tied 5th at Austrian Open

Alejandro Canizares at seven-under was leading by one over John Catlin (70) and Martin Kaymer (70) who were both at six-under.

SSP Chawrasia tees off during Rocco Forte Open at Verdura Golf and Spa Resorton May 11, 2018 in Sciacca, Italy.   -  Getty Images

Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia carded a superb four-under 68 in the second round to grab a share of the fifth position at the Austrian Open, continuing his pursuit of a European Tour title outside India.

The 42-year-old's four wins on the European Tour have come in India with two of them being the Hero Indian Open in 2016 and 2017. Apart from those four, which were co-sanctioned by Asian tour, Chawrasia has won more in Asia.

Of his six international wins, only one has come outside India – the Resorts World Manila Masters Open in the Philippines in 2016. He has not won since 2017 At four-under 140 overall here, he is fifth, three shots behind the leader, Alejandro Canizares (67-70).

Overall, it was a fine day for the Indians, who after the first day, seemed to be on the edge.

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Shubhankar Sharma bounced back from a first-round 75 to card four-under 68, which at one stage looked likely to be much better. He was five-under through 11 before dropping a bogey on the 15th to settle for a T-20 finish at the end of day.

Chandigarh's Ajeetesh Sandhu, playing his first event outside India since March last year, also made a good comeback after a 77 in the first round. Sandhu added 70 to his first round 77 to make the cut on the bubble at three-over.

Canizares at seven-under was leading by one over John Catlin (70) and Martin Kaymer (70) who were both at six-under.

Justin Walters (68) was fourth at five-under, while Chawrasia, Max Kieffer (68), Jacques Kruyswijk (72) and Richard Mansell (71) at T-5.

Chawrasia, who has missed his last six cuts on European Tour, laughed and said, "No, I did not think about those missed cuts when I started the second round. I was thinking about handling the cold weather. On the first day it was 3 degrees and very cold when I began.

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"Today it was about 6 degrees and we were joking that we were wearing all the clothes we had brought." The Kolkatan seemed pretty satisfied with how things panned out in the second round for him.

"The bogey on ninth was my only mistake and I also had birdies on 13 and 15. It was good to get three of the four Par-5s. That will be the key again on the weekend," he said.

"This course has a bit of Delhi Golf Club look in it, especially holes like the 14th and 15th."

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