Local lad Trishul Chinnappa and Greater Noida’s Sudhir Sharma, both fighting to save their PGTI cards, fired tournament-best scores of seven-under 65 in the second round to climb to the top of the leaderboard at Bengaluru Open in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Delhi’s Kapil Kumar scored a five-under-67 to join Trishul and Sudhir at nine-under-135 in the halfway stage of the event played at the Karnataka Golf Association course.
Bengaluru’s Rahil Gangjee (68) and Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar (69) were in tied fourth, one shot off the pace at the Rs. 40 lakh event which is also the penultimate leg of the 2019 TATA Steel PGTI season.
The cut was applied at two-over-146 and 53 professionals and two amateurs made the cut.
Trishul (70-65), currently 60th on the PGTI Order of Merit, produced a timely 65 peppered with nine birdies and two bogeys at his home course KGA to significantly improve his chances of securing his PGTI card in the last full-field event of the season.
Sudhir (70-65), also struggling this season as he is currently 54th in the PGTI Rankings, made good progress towards retaining his PGTI card with a bogey-free 65.
The 32-year-old Sudhir, who set a course record in Chandigarh this year, has had a patchy season with a top-10 and three other top-20s to show.
Kapil Kumar (68-67), who was overnight tied fourth and one off the lead, jumped three spots with a second round of 67 that had a sprinkling of six birdies and a bogey.
Round one joint leader Karandeep dropped three spots to tied fourth at eight-under-136 thanks to his mixed round that featured seven birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey.
Gangjee was also in joint fourth after an eventful day that saw him make six birdies and a double-bogey. He fought back well with four birdies on the back-nine.
M Dharma in seventh at six-under-138 and 18-year-old amateur Akshay Neranjan, playing only his second professional event, in tied eighth at four-under-140, made it four Bengalureans in the top-10.
Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, one of the three first round joint leaders, slipped to tied eighth after a 73 on Wednesday.
Defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka was tied 11th along with Pune-based Udayan Mane, the 2017 champion, at three-under-141.
Bengaluru-based Aryan Roopa Anand, was the second amateur to make the cut. Aryan was tied 24th at one-under-143.
Gurugram-based Veer Ahlawat, the highest-ranked player in the field, being third in the PGTI Order of Merit, was placed tied 47th at two-over-146.
Among those who missed the cut was joint round one leader Arun Kumar of Delhi. Arun followed up his first round 67 with an 82 in round two to total five-over-149.