Indian Open: Chowrasia fires 67, Horsey loses his way

As things stand now, with 66 players yet to finish their second round, Chowrasia's two-round tally of 139 kept him a stroke ahead of first-round leader David Horsey who went two-over today in the Hero Indian Open.

Chowrasia birdied five times during his bogey-free display.

Conservative in his approach, S. S. P. Chowrasia benefited hugely by sticking to discipline and eventually carded a five-under 67 for a one-stroke lead after the second day of the $1.75 million Hero Indian Open here on Friday.

The defending champion seemed to be playing on different course as sub-par rounds continued to be at a premium. When several more illustrious players struggled to find pars, Chowrasia birdied five times during his bogey-free display.

As things stand now, with 66 players yet to finish their second round, Chowrasia's two-round tally of 139 kept him a stroke ahead of first-round leader David Horsey who went two-over today.

Anirban Lahiri, trying to make amends for his first-round 76, was one-over after six holes. Chiragh Kumar and S. Chikkarangappa stood at four-over for two rounds.

As though the course was not tough enough, lightning-forced delay for the second straight day added to the golfers’ woes. But Chowrasia was among those finishing the second round before darkness forced suspension of play for 150 minutes.

Owing to the backlog of 66 golfers looking to finish their first round, the second round began concurrently at the available tees.

Once all the first round cards were in, Horsey topped the heap at six-under 66. Chowrasia, one-under last evening when bad light halted play, finished at par and shared the 25th spot. But the second round presented contrasting experiences for Chowrasia and Horsey.

Chowrasia, the only player to shoot a sub-70 card this day, birdied the 11th, 14th, 15th, fifth and eighth holes before missing another one on the ninth hole. He reached 14 greens in regulation and needed 13 putts – one more than the preceding round – to complete the round for a one-stroke lead.

“My hitting was really good and some putts dropped, that’s why I made five-under. This is no doubt a difficult course, so I just focused on hitting it straight.

“My putter was going well today. I made a couple of putts. A great putt on the fifth (from 25 feet) and the eighth holes (from 20 feet), they were tough putts. I’m getting used to the course but I’m still learning. Two more days and I’ll try to keep learning how to play this (course),” said the leader reflecting on the round.

Horsey followed his flawless 66 with a 74. Though he moved to seven-under after finding a birdie on the fourth, a double-bogey on the following hole pulled him down. Thereafter, a bogey on the eighth hole, where he four-putted, dented his confidence. On the back-nine, his birdies on the 12th and 15th were negated by bogeys on the 13th and 18th.

Talking about the double-bogey on the fifth hole, Horsey said, “It’s tough, yeah. It’s a long, island green. It was about 170 today, but I hit it in the bunker and three-putted. Then I four-putted eighth hole and missed a short one on nine. So, I wasted three or four shots there on the greens.”

Since 66 players are yet to finish Round Two, the third round on Saturday will not commence before 12.30 pm.

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