DIGBOI: Ashok Kumar and Sheeraz Kalra shared the lead at nine-under 135 at the halfway stage of the Rs. 20-lakh Indian Oil Xtra Premium Masters golf tournament at the Digboi golf course here on Thursday.

Ashok signed off with a hat-trick of birdies for a five under 67, one better than his effort on Wednesday, while Kalra shot a 68 for a one-stroke lead.

Vinod Kumar recovered after dropping three shots over the first three holes by firing a 67, including an `eagle' on the 15th hole, for the sole third place. Rahul Ganapathy was fourth at 138, one ahead of a pack that included first-day leader Harinder Gupta who managed a poor 73.

The scores: Ashok Kumar (68, 67) and Shiraz Kalra (67, 68) 135; Vinod Kumar (69, 67) 136. Rahul Ganapathy (67, 71) 138; Lehal (72, 67), Muniyappa (72, 67), Vijay Kumar (71, 68), Shamim Khan (69, 70) and Harinder Gupta (66, 73) 139; Sanjay Kumar (70, 70) 140. Vikrant Gupta (72, 69) and Shankar Das (70, 71) 141; Sujjan Singh (68, 74) 142; Ali Sher (71, 73), Dharma (78, 66), Madaiah (68, 76), Yusuf Ali (73, 71) 144.

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