Kapur and Joshi lead seven Indians in Malaysia

Joshi, who is still looking for his pro win outside India, carded 70 to go with his 67 from the first round while Kapur’s second round card read 67.

Shiv Kapur won three times in 2017 and is looking at another solid year in 2018.   -  Getty Images

Khalin Joshi and Shiv Kapur, both tied 25th, were the best Indians among the seven who made the halfway cut at the Maybank Championship.

Joshi, who is still looking for his pro win outside India, carded 70 to go with his 67 from the first round while Kapur’s second round card read 67.

Kapur won three times in 2017 and is looking at another solid year in 2018. The other Indians ensuring a stay for the weekend were Jyoti Randhawa (67-71) and Arjun Atwal (67-71) in Tied-37th place, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (68-71) and Shubhankar Sharma (70-69) were Tied-51st. S.S.P. Chawrasia

However Rashid Khan, S. Chikkarangappa, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Rahil Gangjee and Chiragh Kumar missed the cut. Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai charged into contention at the halfway stage after shooting a sparkling seven-under-par 65 on Friday.

The 18-year-old, whose name Phachara means ‘diamond’ in Thai, marked his card with seven birdies as he shared the lead with Italy’s Nino Bertasio (65) on 11-under-par 133 on a low scoring day at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.

Starting from the 10th, Kapur’s 67 had an adventurous run midway through the round, as he had four birdies from 16th to 18th and then first followed by bogeys on second and third. In all, he had seven birdies against two bogeys.

Joshi had five birdies against one bogey and one double in his 70. A red-hot Lee Westwood of England fired 11 birdies against one bogey for a stunning 62 to lie a shot back in third place alongside Japanese star and world number 43 Yuta Ikeda (64), Marc Warren (66) and overnight leader Chris Paisley (69) at the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Westwood continued his affinity with Asia, where he has won nine times including the Malaysian Open in 1997 at Saujana. He is in position again to win at the course where he was a former touring professional from 1996 to 1999. The halfway cut was set at four-under-par 140 with a total of 81 players making the weekend rounds.

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