Magical Kenya Open: Bhullar best-placed Indian

Other Indians making the cut were S. Chikkarangappa (70-69) in tied 15th and Khalin Joshi (72-69) in tied 33rd place, while Shubhankar Sharma’s lean patch continued with a missed cut after rounds of 74 and 71.

Winner of the Fiji International last year, Bhullar trailed the leader, South African Louis de Jager, who opened up a commanding four-shot lead at the halfway stage.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

Gaganjeet Bhullar was the best-placed Indian at fourth, adding a one-under 70 to get to seven-under 135, in the Magical Kenya Open here.

Winner of the Fiji International last year, Bhullar trailed the leader, South African Louis de Jager, who opened up a commanding four-shot lead at the halfway stage.

De Jaeger carded a second round of 66.

Other Indians making the cut were S. Chikkarangappa (70-69) in tied 15th and Khalin Joshi (72-69) in tied 33rd place, while Shubhankar Sharma’s lean patch continued with a missed cut after rounds of 74 and 71.

The South African shared the overnight lead with England’s Jack Singh Brar going into day two, but after seven birdies in the second round he opened up a big lead.

Four shots off the pace in a share of second place were Brar and Spaniard Adri Arnaus, both of whom are European Challenge Tour graduates.

Also, in contention again was South African Justin Harding, who was five behind his countryman de Jager. The world number 52, who triumphed in Qatar last week, is looking to become the first player to win back-to-back European Tour events since Justin Rose, who achieved the feat in 2017.

A good finish would also bring him inside Top-50 and earn him a place at the Masters.

Diksha makes amends

Promising Indian golfer Diksha Dagar made amends for her poor first round with a six-under 66 to move into second place after 36 holes at the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.

Dagar, who was tied fifth at NSW Open a week earlier, carded 76 in the first round in difficult conditions, but her six-under took her to two-under.

READ| De Jager four clear at Kenya Open

Dagar was two shots behind seasoned Lee-Anne Pace at the tight, tree-lined layout.

If Dagar can pull off a win, she will become only the second Indian woman to win a Ladies European Tour event after Aditi Ashok, who has won three times and now plays on the LPGA.

Players championship

India’s Anirban Lahiri made his first cut at the PLAYERS Championship on his fourth attempt and was placed tied 39th at the midway stage of the flagship event of the PGA Tour in Ponte Vedra (US).

Lahiri added a one-under 71 to his first round 70, getting to three-under 141.

He had missed the cut on three previous attempts, so it was a relief after making it to the weekend. A year earlier, he seemed all set for the weekend action before a disastrous back nine dashed those hopes.

He will play his third round with Patton Kizzire (71-70).
 

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Lahiri said, “It was a kind of a weird day. I came in for that final four-footer and there were no accidents. So, that sealed a two-under 70 and I was Tied-35th for the round. In the second round, my play was definitely better in the second round, as I hit the ball better than yesterday but I didn’t convert the opportunities that I got.

“I think I didn’t play that well on the par 5s. I birdied two of the four Par-5s on the first day and I managed only one today. Worse, I gave away a bogey on Par-5 11th, which I had birdied a day earlier.”

“Still it was good to get one thing done, which is getting into the weekend after last year’s debacle on the back nine,” he added.