The crosswinds at the Delhi Golf Club held the golfers in check and made sure the second round brought very little change at the top of the leaderboard of the $300,000 Panasonic Open golf championship.
Australia’s Wade Ormsby birdied two of the last three holes to snatch a two-stroke lead over fellow first-round leader Singapore Lam Chih Bing. Ormsby, searching for his breakthrough title, shot three birdies on either side of his lone bogey for a second successive 67 to tally 10-under 134. Chih Bing, who started his round at 7.10 on Friday morning, too, was 10-under at one stage but a bogey-bogey finish left him with a 69.
Though Kieran Pratt, the third overnight leader lost his way with a five-over 77, S.S.P. Chowrasia moved up to third, with Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit, following a second 69.
The ‘cut’ came at five-over 149 and left 68 professionals, including 32 Indians, in the fray. This year’s Avantha Masters runner-up Gaganjeet Bhullar and 2008 Ryder Cup player England’s Oliver Wilson made premature exits.
Ormsby birdied the first two holes to continue from where he had left off on the first day. His birdie on the eighth stood negated following an immediate bogey. On the bogey-free back nine, the Australian struggled though he was fortunate that one of his tee-shots stayed on the fairway after finding a tree.
“It was a tough day out there and I’m really happy with my round. I had to fight pretty hard on my back nine which was tricky as I lost my rhythm a bit like most of the guys out there today. The wind made it tough to keep the ball on the fairways,” said the leader.
Chih Bing was pleased with the way he played but disappointed with the way he finished, with bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes.
Chowrasia and fifth-placed Shiv Kapur kept alive prospects of an Indian champion on Sunday. Chowrasia birdied four times, including thrice on the par-5s to make amends for an early bogey. “I was also happy with a couple of good par saves on sixth and ninth. That kind of a save also gives you confidence.
“It was quite windy and with the direction and speed changing, it became challenging and tough at times. I am happy with my position and taking things as they come.”
Starting from the 10th tee at 7.20 a.m., Kapur was watched all along by friend and former Australian cricketer-turned-commentator Dean Jones. Kapur, six-under for the day with four holes to go, double-bogeyed the sixth hole to spoil his card a bit.
“I had a poor tee-shot and to add to that it hit a TV cable and went into the bushes. I had to take a penalty drop and did not manage the up-and-down and ended with a double-bogey,” he explained.
The scores: Wade Ormsby (Aus) (67, 67) 134; Lam Chih Bing (Sin) (67, 69) 136; S.S.P. Chowrasia (69, 69), Boochu Ruangkit (Tha) (70, 68) 138; Shiv Kapur (71, 68) 139; Richard T. Lee (Can) (72, 68) 140; Digvijay Singh (71, 71), S. Chikarangappa (72, 70), Mohammad Siddikur (Ban) (71, 71), Jay Bayron (Phi) (70, 72) and Amardip Malik (71, 71) 142.