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Golf: Chinnappa holds on to lead; Sharma’s super 64 eclipses course record

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Bengaluru’s Trishul Chinnappa held on to the lead for the second day in succession, but it was Greater Noida-based golfer Sudhir Sharma’s exquisite eight-under 64 that hogged the limelight in round two of the Tata Steel PGTI Players Championship here on Wednesday. 
 
Chinnappa’s three-under-69 gave him a one-shot lead at 10-under 134 at the half-way stage of the Rs. 30 lakh event. 
 
The second position was shared by Patna’s Aman Raj (68) and Bangladesh’s Mohammad Dulal Hossain (68) at nine-under 135. 
 
The 31-year-old Sharma’s magnificent effort eclipsed the long-standing course record at the Chandigarh Golf Club (CGC) and saw him return to form after a long gap. On day two, Sharma climbed 44 positions to tied fourth at eight-under 136.
 
The previous course record of 65 was broken after 13 long years as it was first set by legend Mukesh Kumar in 2006. Thereafter, it was matched by the likes of Gaganjeet Bhullar, Gaurav Ghei, Ranjit Singh, Shiv Kapur and Trishul Chinnappa. Chinnappa had equaled it on Tuesday during the first round of the ongoing event.
 
The cut came down at even-par 144 with 57 professionals progressing to the last two rounds.
 
Sharma (72-64), lying tied 48th and seven off the lead after round one, began the second day with a birdie on the first which was soon neutralized by his bogey on the third.
 
A whirlwind back-nine saw Sharma, a joint runner-up at the Asian Tour’s Panasonic Open India 2017, gain six more shots. Some fabulous approach shots on the 10th, 12th and 13th left him birdie putts within six feet of the flag, all of which he converted.
 
He ended the round in style with birdies on the last three holes to etch his name in the record books at the CGC. 
 
Sudhir said, "It’s great to have the new course record in my name. This encourages me to keep up the intensity over the next two days. The key from here on will be to continue hitting it well off the tee and seizing the opportunities on the greens with some solid putting. ” 
 
Aman Raj (67-68) and Hossain (67-68) clung on to their overnight tied second place with matching rounds of 68. Aman mixed five birdies with a bogey and narrowly missed his eagle putt on the 13th. 
 
Dulal made an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys. His round featured two chip-ins, one for eagle on the 13th and the other for birdie on the 18th.
 
Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh (67) and Kolkata’s Shankar Das (68) were both in tied fourth along with Sudhir Sharma at eight-under 136.
 
Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane slipped from overnight tied second to tied 10th at five-under 139 as a result of his 72 on Wednesday.
 
The trio of Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, Harendra Gupta and Aadil Bedi, were the best-placed among the Chandigarh golfers as they occupied tied 12th at four-under 140. Jyoti Randhawa (71) was a further shot back in tied 19th.
 
Local amateur Sanju Kumar made a hole-in-one on the 14th during his round of 74. However, he missed the cut since he totalled six-over 150.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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