Only two Indians —— Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar —— could make the cut, while four others fell by the wayside and exited the competition in the swirling wind, rain and generally tough conditions on the second day of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters here on Friday.
On the day, the conditions actually took a toll on the scores as players were forced to battle it out against the elements.
Lahiri, seventh overnight, carded a 75 to slip to tied 16th, while Bhullar added a battling 74 to his first round 75 to be placed tied 34th, a big improvement on his tied 53rd overnight.
The Indians missing the cut were Himmat Rai (75—76), Ajeetesh Sandhu (75—78), Chiragh Kumar (73—81) and Manav Jaini (76—79).
The halfway cut was set at six—over—par 150 with a total of 54 players making the weekend rounds.
Meanwhile, leading the field was Baek Seuk—hyun of Korea who played one—over—par 73 to share the halfway lead. Baek was tied with Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna (73) and Chinese Taipei trio Wang Shih—jui (73), overnight leader Lien Chi—wei (77) and Tsai Chi—huang, the only player to break par with a 69 for one—under—par 143 at the USD 600,000 Asian Tour event.
The par 72, 6923 Yards Tamsui Course at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club was swept by sporadic showers in the morning but strong gust of wind with speeds of over 30kms per hour continued for the whole day as Typhoon Jelawat is expected to hit the country.
Chinese Taipei hero Lin Wen—tang, a five—time Asian Tour winner, Bangladeshi Siddikur, Malaysia’s Danny Chia and Kalle Samooja of Finland were a further shot back in tied sixth place.
Despite the testing conditions where a tree was uprooted, Baek managed to hang on and put himself in strong position of winning his first Asian Tour title.
Chia hopes to relive the winning memories of his victory in the 2002 Taiwan Open as he takes aim at a second Asian Tour win after his round of 72.
Siddikur described his round as the “most difficult” in his career but hopes to better his second place finish at the 2010 Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
Keywords: Mercuries Taiwan Masters