Aircel PGTI Players Championship: Rashid Khan goes three ahead

Rashid Khan: GolfKolkata, Feb 10 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) Delhi’s Rashid Khan posted a second successive score of six under 64 to build a three stroke lead on day two of the Rs. 4 million Aircel PGTI Players Championship presented by Tollygunge Club here.

Rashid, a rookie on the Aircel PGTI, now has a 36-hole total of 12 under 128. Rahil Gangjee of Kolkata is currently in second position as he signed a card of even par 70 to take his total to nine under 131.

The cut was declared at three over 143. Fifty-three professionals made the cut.

Rashid Khan (64-64), playing only his second event as a professional, was on a roll on Wednesday as he drained eight birdies and dropped only two bogeys. The 19-year-old from the Delhi Golf Club got off to a brilliant start when he landed his approach shot within three feet to set up a birdie on the first hole. He added another birdie on the second and then dropped his first bogey of the day on the sixth.

The silver medalist at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games then had a flurry of birdies on the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th. He sank a 30-footer on the eighth and hit a fabulous bunker shot on the 10th. The birdie on the 11th came as a result of converting a 12-footer. Rashid made birdie-bogey on the 14th and 15th and a birdie on the 17th to close his round with a six under.

Rashid, the number one amateur in India for the last three years, said, “Even though I produced identical scores on the first two days, I rate today’s round better as compared to round one as I was a lot more consistent today. I did well in all departments of the game during the second round. It’s a really good position to be in at this stage therefore I will play a steady game in round three and will not attack the pins. There are a lot of experienced players behind me. I will let them do the chasing.”

Rahil Gangjee (61-70) followed up his magnificent 61 in the first round with a sedate even par 70 on Wednesday. His second round featured three birdies and three bogeys. Gangjee, the local favourite, now trails Rashid by three strokes.

Vijay Kumar and Anirban Lahiri fired scores of five under 65 to be tied third at seven under 133. Jyoti Randhawa joined Vijay and Lahiri in tied third position after he returned a one under 69 in round two.

Mukesh Kumar, Vinod Kumar and Harendra Gupta share sixth place with matching totals of six under 134. Mukesh fired a 66 in round two.

Gaganjeet Bhullar ended the day in tied 10th place with a four under 136 total. He carded a 69 on Wednesday.

SSP Chowrasia (72-71) lies tied 44th at three over 143.

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