Sri Lankans Mithun Perera and Anura Rohana turned in fine unfussy rounds of golf to propel their teams into the semifinals of the Louis Philippe Cup on Thursday.
The two shot identical rounds of seven-under 65 as Perera's Navratna Ahmedabad and Rohana's TAKE Chennai finished first and second with two-round team tallies of 273 and 274 respectively.
Home favourite Anirban Lahiri too had a good day out on the KGA course, firing a six-under 66 to help Puravankara Bangalore home in third, two strokes behind Chennai.
Dev-Ellora Chandigarh and Ansal API Lucknow were tied for the last semifinal berth on 10-under 278; the former triumphed by virtue of its third player Sujjan Singh (only scores of a team's top two are otherwise taken into account) having shot a better round on the day than counterpart Sanjay Kumar.
Ahmedabad will face Chandigarh and Chennai Bangalore in Friday's semifinals (matchplay). AVT Kolkata, The 3C Delhi, Oxford Group West, DLF Gurgaon, Shubhkamna Noida, all failed to make the cut alongside Lucknow but will stay on for the fifth to tenth place matches.
Perera, who won the Haryana Open last year, his first on the PGTI tour, opened sedately, finishing the front nine one-under after bogeying the fourth. But he produced six birdies on the next seven holes, taking no undue risks on the way. “I missed a couple of putts from four feet otherwise my score would have been much better,” he said afterwards. “Except for the missed putts, I played regulation golf.”
Perera was well complemented by the big-driving Vikrant Chopra.
The 31-year-old was not among Ahmedabad's best two performers on Wednesday, but returned a card of four-under 68 this time.
Rohana, who had won the PGTI Global Greens Open at the same venue in September, turned in a bogey-free round, much in contrast to Wednesday's show.
Lahiri fired the day's second best score but was not entirely pleased with his effort.
He gained five shots on the front nine, but only one on the back stretch.
“I didn't hit it very well off the tee today. I'm working on some technical issues,” he said.
Friday promises intriguing contests, not least the face-off between Rohana and Lahiri.
The scores (after 36 holes, only best two scores for each round considered): Navratna Ahmedabad (Mithun Perera 70+65, Vikrant Chopra 73+68, Vinod Kumar 70+71) 273; TAKE Chennai (Anura Rohana 68+65, S.S.P. Chowrasia 70+71, Gaurav Ghei 75+72) 274; Puravankara Bangalore (Anirban Lahiri 69+66, Manav Jaini 70+71, Abhishek Jha 77+73) 276; Dev-Ellora Chandigarh (Harendra Gupta 68+69, Gaganjeet Bhullar 71+70, Sujjan Singh 72+72), Ansal API Lucknow (Sanjay Kumar 72+74, Vijay Kumar 69+71, Md. Siddikur Rahman 71+67) 278 (Chandigarh through to semifinals).