Fickle winds kept the golfers guessing in the PGTI Cochin Masters at the CIAL Golf Club and at the end of the second round, Delhi’s Rashid Khan moved into sole lead with a solid one-under-35 on Thursday.
Rashid, the tour topper last season and joint overnight leader, came up with a creditable 35 that had a lone birdie on the par-5 16th.
Despite the winds picking up and troubling the players, the 23-year-old, who had an eagle and two birdies on the par-36 course at Nedumbassery on Wednesday, managed a clean round.
“The wind was swirling and it wasn’t easy to score. I’m quite happy with my one-under in the given conditions,” said Rashid (32, 35). “I’ve been hitting it well and ensured that I don’t drop any strokes today. I’d like to keep playing in the same manner and will try to keep the errors out as the margin for error is very less in a shortened tournament.”Unlucky Mane
The other overnight leader, Mumbai’s Anil Bajrang Mane (32, 36), was not so lucky though. He had an even-par score on all the nine holes and dropped to the second rung, a spot he shares with three others — Lucknow’s Sanjay Kumar, Noida’s Amardip Singh Malik and Delhi’s Kapil Kumar all with four-under-68 for their two-day work.
“The wind was very unpredictable today,” said the 32-year-old Mane. “Nobody could judge it properly. When we checked it, it was coming from right to left and then when we were hitting the ball, it was coming the other way. It was very confusing.”
He appeared a little shaky on the 11th and 12th holes.
“Today, my ball striking was good but not my putting. It was not like yesterday. I missed a six-foot putt on the 12th hole and a 10-footer in the 11th,” said Mane.
Amardip Sinh Malik (34, 34) and Kapil Kumar (34, 34) fired their second successive scores of 34 to give Mane company, along with Sanjay Kumar.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera came up with the day’s best score of 33 to be tied sixth at three-under-69 along with compatriots Anura Rohana and Prabagaran, the PGTI Coimbatore leg winner, as well as Delhi’s Manav Jaini and Gulfam and Chandigarh’s Sujjan Singh.
Bangalore’s Anirban Lahiri and Rahil Gangjee were tied 22nd at even-par-72.
67 Rashid Khan (32, 35); 68 Anil Bajrang Mane (33, 35), Sanjay Kumar (33, 35), Amandip Singh Malik (34, 34), Kapil Kumar (34, 34).