Panasonic Open: Shiv Kapur in the mix, shares lead with Aussie duo

Shiv Kapur, involved in a playoff in the Thailand Open last Sunday, once again moved into title-contention following a successive 67.

Shiv Kapur plays a shot during the Panasonic Open on Saturday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In-form Shiv Kapur was with Aussies Adam Blyth and Terry Pilkadaris atop the leaderboard as the $400,000 Panasonic Open headed for a thrilling finish here.

On a breeze-swept Classic Golf and Country Club course, when the players found it tough to control the ball during the second half of Saturday, early-starter Blyth shot an incredible, bogey-free nine-under 63 -one off the course record - to go 10-under.

Shiv Kapur, involved in a playoff in the Thailand Open last Sunday, again moved into title-contention following a successive 67. After sinking five birdies from around six feet for a 32 on the front-nine, Kapur could only add one birdie on the back-nine.

Pilkadaris shot a 68 to make it a three-man leaders’ pack at 134 - two better than Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-Yao and three-time runner-up Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman.

Young Kshitij Naveed Kaul, joint leader on reaching under-10 after eight holes, dramatically dropped five shots on the next 10 holes to finish the second and penultimate round at even-par.

What seriously hurt Kaul’s prospects were the two double-bogeys - on the 13th and 18th holes. Effectively, Kaul’s front-nine 32 stood undone by the back-nine 40.

The ‘cut’ came at one-under 143 and left 67 professionals, including 30 Indians. Former champions Chiragh Kumar and Digvijay Singh along with Arjun Atwal missed the ‘cut’.

Leading second-round scores (Indians unless stated):

134 - Adam Blyth (Aus) (71, 63), Shiv Kapur (67, 67), Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) (66, 68); 136 - Hung Chien-Yao (Tpe) (67, 69), Siddikur Rahman (Ban) (69, 67); 137 - Teemu Putkonen (Fin) (70, 67), N. Thangaraj (Sri) (69, 68), Rashid Khan (67, 70), S. Chikkarangappa (69, 68) and Vikrant Chopra (67, 70).

Other Indians who made the ‘cut’: 138 - Khalin Joshi (67, 71), Veer Ahlawat (69, 69); 139 - Tapy Ghai (71, 68), Kshitij Naveed Kaul (67, 72), Karandeep Kochhar (67, 72); 140 - Aman Raj (68, 72), M. Dharma (67, 73), Pravin Pathare (69, 71), Om Prakash Chouhan (70, 70); 141 - Harendra Gupta (72, 69), Aadil Bedi (69, 72), Shankar Das (67, 74), Arjun Prasad (67, 74), Kapil Kumar (69, 72); 142 - Devyanshu Bajaj (72, 70), Sanjay Kumar (68, 74), Sanjeev Kumar (71, 71), Jeev Milkha Singh (70, 72); 143 - Udayan Mane (72, 71), Sunit Chowrasia (72, 71), Amardip Malik (72, 71), Jyoti Randhawa (72, 71), Mukesh Kumar (72, 71), Himmat Rai (71, 72), Viraj Madappa (69, 74) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (71, 72).