Trishul Chinnappa and Sudhir Sharma are on top at the halfway stage of Bengaluru Open

Trishul Chinnappa and Sudhir Sharma are on top at the halfway stage of Bengaluru Open

Key highlights:

  • Trishul Chinnappa and Sudhir Sharma are on top at nine-under-135
  • Round one joint leader Karandeep Kochhar slips on day 2

{Press Release}: Local lad Trishul Chinnappa of Bengaluru and Greater Noida’s Sudhir Sharma, both fighting to save their PGTI cards, climbed to the top at nine-under-135 with tournament-best scores of seven-under-65 while Delhi’s Kapil Kumar also joined them in the halfway lead courtesy a five-under-67 in round two of the Indo-MIM presents Bengaluru Open Golf Championship 2019 powered by Karnataka Tourism, a tournament being played at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) 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. Fifty-three professionals and two amateurs made the cut.

Trishul Chinnappa (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.

Chinnappa said, “I got out of trouble on quite a few occasions today. I can improve on the places that I’m putting myself in so that I need not come up with heroic shots such as the approach over the water on the 16th. Playing in home conditions always helps as there are a lot of areas on this course where I’ve been before and where I’ve played from before. There is that familiarity.

Sudhir Sharma (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.

Sudhir, a joint runner-up at the Asian Tour’s 2017 Panasonic Open India, said, “My inconsistent putting has affected my results this year. I’ve played well whenever the putter has been hot for me. When the putting hasn’t clicked, there has been too much pressure on my hitting and I’ve not done well. Today, I found only eight fairways out of 14 and still shot a 65 that just proves how good my putting was.”

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. Kapil, fresh from a top-5 finish last week in Kolkata, hit it close all day as his approach and wedge shots were precise. He also converted most of his chances on the greens.

Kapil said, “I did well in all departments of my game today but my chipping troubles continued just like last week. The putting was good. The switch from a thin grip to a thicker grip on my putter seems to pay dividends.”

Round one joint leader Karandeep Kochhar 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.

Rahil 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.

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.

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.