PGTI Cochin Masters: Hole-in-one sees Syed Saqib Ahmed grab lead

Saqib, who also had a stunning hole-in-one on the 14th hole, tallied nine-under-135 and led by a massive four shots after the halfway stage of the four-round event

Syed Saqib Ahmed had five birdies on his dream day which saw him move from tied-third to the top.   -  Special Arrangements

While some big names found the windy conditions tough, Bengaluru’s Syed Saqib Ahmed was in full flow as he moved to the top of the leaderboard with a six-under-66 after the second round of the PGTI Cochin Masters at the CIAL Golf Club, Nedumbassery, on Thursday.

Saqib, who also had a stunning hole-in-one on the 14th hole, tallied nine-under-135 and led by a massive four shots after the halfway stage of the four-round event. He also had five birdies on his dream day which saw him move from tied-third to the top.

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MUKESH MISSES CUT

The cut was declared at five-over-149 and 53 players made it but defending champion Mukesh Kumar was one of the big names missing. The star from Mhow in Madhya Pradesh missed the cut by one shot for a total read six-over-150.

Meanwhile Noida’s Amardip Singh Malik, the opening round leader, was in the second place after his round of even-par-72 took his total to five-under-139 at the Rs. 40 lakh event.

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“Everything just felt right today. I was in a good frame of mind from the very start and it’s great to lead an event for the first time in my professional career,” said Saqib.

“The hole-in-one was special as I saw the ball roll in. I was actually between clubs there and I guess the decision to play the nine-iron just paid off.

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“I did not have a great 2017 and I didn’t come to this event with any expectations so I have no fixed goals in mind for the next two days as well. I’m just looking to turn the tide this year.”

The scores (after round two, par 72+72): 1. Syed Saqib Ahmed (135), 2. Amardip Singh Malik (139), 3. Shankar Das & Abhijit Singh Chadha (both 140), 5. Manu Gandas & Honey Baisoya (142).

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