Chonburi (Thailand): Anirban Lahiri kept his cool and stayed patient on a difficult scoring day as he battled to a second-round card of one-over-par 73 to stay in contention for the Order of Merit race and also the US$1 million Thailand Golf Championship, here on Friday.
Lahiri's two-day total of even par 144 after rounds of 71 and 73, the latter being capped with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, saw him in tied ninth place, four shots back of the leader Tommy Fleetwood of England.
Fleetwood's 69 was one of the few scores in the 60s on Friday.
Among other Indians Chiragh Kumar slipped from overnight 19th to 47th with rounds of 72 and 77, while Arjun Atwal pulled himself up from 79th place to 53rd with a round of 71 following first day?s 79.
Also just making the cut were Gaganjeet Bhullar (76-75) and SSP Chowrasia (77-74).
Jyoti Randhawa (75-79), Rahil Gangjee (76-79) and Himmat Rai (75-81) missed the cut, which fell at seven-over.
"It is not easy because the smallest of mistakes get magnified. If you miss the fairway then it is over. You can't hit it more than 40 yards when you find the rough. You have to take your opportunities and try to do damage control," said Lahiri, who is tied for ninth place.
The windy conditions and thick rough made life difficult for the players at the Amata Spring Country Club where only eight players finished in red numbers.
"It was tough out there. I didn't hit it very well. I was wayward off the tees and hacked out quite a few times. I'm happy with my score, it could have been a lot worst. It feels like I'm playing on a brand new golf course. We've been playing here for so many years and every year we have someone shooting a 65 or a 66 every day.
"Right now, if you shoot a 70, it feels like you shot a 59! It is really hard especially in the afternoon," said Lahiri.