Armed with a favourable law of averages, Shiv Kapur enjoyed his best outing on a golf course in a long time. The 28-year-old fired the day’s best seven-under 65 to move within a stroke of the new leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello on the second day of the euro 1.8 million Avantha Masters golf championship here on Friday.

Joining Shiv in the second spot was Jeev Milkha Singh who picked up three shots from 11 holes to be at seven-under before bad light brought about an expected end to the proceedings. Again, like on Friday, 22 groups of three each will be required to complete their second rounds on Saturday. After the ‘cut’ is applied, the third round will commence at 10.40 am (IST) at the DLF Golf and Country Club here.

First day leader Robert-Jan Derksen dropped two shots to slip to four-under after nine holes of the second round. Earlier, Cabrera-Bello had moved to 10-under with three holes to go but dropped a stroke each on the seventh and ninth holes to finish at eight-under.

“I started really well, hit some great shots and made some great putts. Then on the back nine, I struggled a little bit off the tee and didn’t manage to hit as many fairways as I would have liked. Then I went for it at the last and it didn’t happen and I ended up in the water. I almost saved the par but it just missed. But overall nothing went particularly wrong so I can’t have too many complaints,” said the new clubhouse leader from Spain who completed his first round of 67 on Fridaymorning before settling for a 69.

Shiv, one among the 66 golfers to complete the unfinished first round and return for the second, shot four birdies on the front-nine and three more on his way back for a bogey-free card. The day clearly belonged to Shiv who played 27 holes today and went on to say, “When you are playing well (as in the afternoon) you don’t mind going on and on. Right now I could play another 18!”

Indeed, the ball was rolling for Shiv who revealed, “The 30-minute break between the finish of the first round and the start of the second round did a world of good. I spend some time with my coach (Jamie Gough) and we found something that helped me through the second round. Today, if it had not been Jamie I would have struggled as I did in the first round.”

Shiv admitted that in the morning, he could have easily been three or four over par but his wedges and putter saved him for a par round. In the second round, “everything came together” and Shiv hit a lot of good shots. On the greens, he was splendid. Of his seven birdies, the longest came on the eighth hole, where he drained a 25-foot putt.

Leading scores: Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) (67, 69) 136; Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) (70, 67), Mark Haastrup (Den) (71, 66), Shiv Kapur (72, 65), Robert Coles (Eng) (70, 67) 137; (Jeev Milkha Singh and Thongchai Jaidee also shared the second spot at seven-under after playing 11 holes); Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha) (70, 68), Lu Wei-Chih (70, 68) 138; (Rikard Karlberg and Sujjan Singh also shared the eighth place after being six-under after playing 11 and nine holes, respectively).

Keywords: Avantha Masters


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