NZ Open: Shiv Kapur, S. Chikkarangappa move to tied-27th

Shiv Kapur, S. Chikkarangappa and Ajeetesh Sandhu make the cut among Indians.

File Photo: Shiv Kapur shot a two-under 69 to take his score to 139 after two rounds.   -  Getty Images

India’s Shiv Kapur, S. Chikkarangappa and Ajeetesh Sandhu made the cut at the 100th New Zealand Open here on Friday.

Kapur shot two-under 69 at the Par-71 Millbrook Resort course after a two-under 70 at the Hills Course on Thursday, while Chikka shot three-under 69 at Par-72 Hills Course after one-under 70 at Millbrook Resort course. Both tallied 139.

Sandhu, who was three-under 69 at Hills on Thursday, shot an even-par 71 at Milbrook in the second round for a total of 140, to lie tied-44th. The cut fell at three-under and 62 players made it. Three Indians — Rahil Gangjee (142), Khalin Joshi (142) and Viraj Madappa (147) — missed the cut.

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Zach Murray, an Asian Tour Qualifying school graduate, continued his good form, securing a seven-under-par 65 at The Hills. He seized the outright lead by five shots at the halfway stage. The 21-year-old Australian, who held a share of the overnight lead, stormed off the blocks quickly with an eagle-birdie start. He, then, added five more birdies against a bogey to lead on 15-under-par 128.

Tokimatsu slips to second place

Ryuko Tokimatsu, the overnight co-leader and the highest-ranked Japanese player in the field, returned with a two-under-par 69 at Millbrook Resort to take second place.

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, who lifted his maiden Asian Tour title in Australia a fortnight ago, raised the local hopes after carding a 66 at The Hills. He trails by six shots in the third place together with a host of players — including past champions Brad Kennedy and Dimitrios Papadatos of Australia, who posted respective rounds of 63 and 66 respectively at Millbrook Resort.

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin made his first career ace en route to a 68 at Millbrook Resort to be tied-ninth. Five other players were tied ninth, including compatriot Pavit Tangkamolprasert, who matched his Poom’s efforts of the day with a 68 on the same course.

A total of three hole-in-ones were recorded on an eventful day at the New Zealand Open. Poom and Damien Jordan of Australia holed out on the second hole at Millbrook Resort while Natipong Srithong of Thailand aced the 16th hole at The Hills.