Seongnam (Korea): India's Ajeetesh Sandhu slipped into tied-second spot despite dropping three shots in the second round of the 37th GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship on Friday.
Sandhu, who carded four-under 67 on the opening day, shot an even par 71 on the second to be three-under for 36 holes.
Sandhu trailed Korean Dongha Lee (68), while Heungchul Joo (70) joined Sandhu in tied-second place.
It was a good day for the Indians as Shiv Kapur, despite carding one-over 72, moved up from tied 7th to tied 5th, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (72-70) and S Chikkarangappa (72-70) were tied 9th as four Indians figured in top-10.
Arjun Atwal (75-73) just about squeezed inside the cut line with a birdie on his closing hole, the ninth, after a roller-coaster ride.
Atwal had four birdies against a double in first six holes starting from 10th. But three of bogeys from 16 to 18 meant he turned in one-over. Then three bogeys against just one birdie meant he was seven-over with one hole to play and he birdied that to make the cut on the line.
Jeev Milkha Singh (74-75), Jyoti Randhawa (75-76) and Khalin Joshi (76-76) missed the cut.
"It was a lot tougher today with the swirling winds and I felt it was really difficult out there. At least the winds died down after the thunderstorms yesterday. But today, they were everywhere which made it tough to hit a shot," Sandhu said.
"But the good thing is I'm playing well and anytime you're close to the lead, you know you have a chance of doing well. I'm happy with where I'm now."
Sandhu, winner in Taiwan last year a week before he won a Japan Challenge Tour event, seemed set to take at least a share of the lead with three holes to go.
The Indian was three-under with three holes in the second round and his total was seven-under. But then he dropped a double bogey on Par-4 16th and a bogey on Par-3 17th. Overall he had four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
Bhullar, who had four birdies against three bogeys, said,"It feels good to know we are in a good position at this event. This is not an easy golf course but all four of us (Sandhu, Kapur, Chikka and himself) are playing well and we all have a good chance on the weekend."
Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond took outright fourth place following a 70 while Kapur is tied for fifth together with Korea's Dongmin Kim, Sanghyun Park and Dongseop Maeng.
The weekend cut was set at six-over with a total of 79 players progressing to the final two rounds.