Panasonic Open: Siddikur joins Suradit in lead

India's Ajeetesh Sandhu is a stroke behind leaders Siddikur Rahman and Suradit Yongcharoenchai; 38 Indians make the cut.

Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman carded 66 to share the lead with Thailand's Suradit Yongcharoenchai at 11-under 133.   -  Special Arrangement

There was not much change among the front-runners. Siddikur Rahman joined overnight leader Suradit Yongcharoenchai even as Ajeetesh Sandhu remained a stroke behind at the half-way stage of the $400,000 Panasonic Open here on Friday.

In friendly conditions and pin-positions at the Delhi Golf Club course, it was no surprise to find 44 sub-par cards — three more than Thursday — in the race to make the ‘cut’.

Coming at two-over 146, the ‘cut’ left 38 Indians in the pruned field of 74 for the weekend action.

Siddikur carded at 66, after Yongcharoenchai’s 67, to share the lead at 11-under 133. A stroke behind was Sandhu, following a successive 67 before Rashid Khan repeated a 68 to be fifth.

Jeev Milkha Singh shot a bogey-free 68 — his best score in two years — to share the sixth spot with M. Dharma and four others at 137.

Sandhu, searching for a second Asian Tour title, said, “The key moment was the birdie on the 11th hole. After starting with a bogey (on the 10th hole), the birdie actually helped me settle down and find my rhythm.”

Siddikur continued his love affair with the DGC with another “excellent day” with eight birdies, against two successive bogeys on the home-nine. Undeterred, the 2013 Indian Open champion regained his touch to fire three birdies over the next four holes and shared the lead.

“Overall, it was still a wonderful round. I am happy because I played exactly the way I wanted to play,” said Siddikur who gauged the pace of the greens better than most on this day.

Suradit Yongcharoenchai produced a bogey-free round to stay on top. (File photo)   -  AFP


Suradit, too, more or less reproduced the card of yesterday. But unlike the first-round 66, he shot a bogey-free round. “I just want to focus on the tee-shots which are important if you want to play well on this course,” said the Thai whose longest birdie came from about 15 feet on the 10th hole.

Interestingly, making their professional debut, Kshitij Naveed Kaul (72, 66) and Yuvraj Sandhu (81, 66) shot six-under but landed on either side of the ‘cut’.

Defending champion Shiv Kapur reproduced a 70 while Jyoti Randhawa battled an early double-bogey to come to level par until a second double-bogey left him with a 74.

Second-round scores (Indians unless stated):

133 - Siddikur Rahman (Ban, 67, 66) and Suradit Yongcharoenchai (Tha, 66, 67); 134 - Ajeetesh Sandhu (67, 67); 135 - Jazz Janewattananond (Tha, 68, 67); 136 - Rashid Khan (68, 68); 137 - M. Dharma (70, 67), Jack Harrison (Eng, 69, 68), Yutaka Araki (Jpn, 70, 67), Settee Prakongvech (Tha, 70, 67), Anura Rohana (Sri, 70, 67) and Jeev Milkha
Singh (69, 68).

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