Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 18
Karandeep Kochhar stayed in pole position to take the title at his home course after shooting a 5-under 67 in Round 2, but host Jeev Milkha Singh missed the cut in the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational here today.
The 20-year-old Kochhar made five birdies in his flawless round to get to 12-under for 36 holes. Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera caught up with Kochhar after shooting the second-best round of the day, a 7-under 65, which included eight birdies and a bogey. “I was just very confident within a radius of six to seven feet on the greens,” Kochhar said. “I made a couple of clutch par putts on the fourth and seventh that kept my round going. I hit better tee shots today as compared to Round 1 even though I returned a higher score. I know it’s important to stay in the moment and not get too ahead of myself in order to have a shot at the title this week.”
Perera and Kochhar led a group of five players, including local favourite Ajeetesh Sandhu and Rashid Khan, by three shots. Khan made a leap of 23 places after shooting the best round of the tournament so far, an 8-under 64. Khan, who is currently leading the 2019 Order of Merit, made six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 2nd hole. “I found most of the greens today and made a lot of up and downs,” Khan said. “When I began the round, I told myself to just keep the ball in play. I’m delighted to have equalled the course record,” he added.
Sandhu made four birdies and a bogey in his round of a 3-under 69. Delhi’s Himmat Singh Rai and Madhya Pradesh’s Om Prakash Chouhan shot matching 69s, while Sri Lanka’s N Thangaraja shot a 68 to stay in contention at tied-3rd.
Aadil, Sujjan make big jump, Randhawa static
Panchkula’s 18-year-old Aadil Bedi mixed eight birdies with three bogeys to shoot a 5-under 67 and climb 41 places to tied-14th at 4-under alongside veteran Jyoti Randhawa and home favourite Sujjan Singh. Sujjan also went 5-under to climb 41 places, while Randhawa shot his second successive 70 to climb three spots.
Jeev Milkha Singh’s tournament ended after a 5-over 77 saw him drop 53 places to tied-90th and miss the cut that fell at even-par 72. Jeev’s round was undone by a triple-bogey on the 613-yard par-5 7th hole, and he could manage just one birdie while making three bogeys as well.
Defending champion S Chikkarangappa shot a 68 to climb 33 places to tied-22nd at 3-under. Rory Hie (70) of Indonesia was a shot back at tied-27th.
Ludhiana’s Pukhraj Singh Gill made a hole-in-one on the eighth, but the 23-year-old missed the cut after shooting a 79. This was the third hole-in-one of the tournament, with Thangaraja and Martendeya Sinha having achieved the feat on Day 1.