Ashok Kumar sets the greens ablaze, shares lead with Bhullar

Gurgaon: Caddie-turned-pro Ashok Kumar fired his best card of the year, a scintillating seven-under 65 to share the lead with defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar, who turned in a sizzling five-under 67, after the second round of the DLF Masters golf tournament here on Friday.

Overnight tied ninth, Kumar sank as many as nine birdies against a couple of bogeys to total nine-under 135 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Bhullar, overnight tied second, also knocked down five birdies and an eagle against two bogeys to aggregate nine-under 135 to top the leaderboard.

Two-time champion, Jyoti Randhawa, had a rather sedate day as he carded a one-under 71 to lie fourth at sixth over 138.

Overnight tied second, Himmat Singh Rai and Gaurav Pratap Singh turned in an identical three-under to take the third spot at seven-under 137 and fifth spot respectively.

PGTI Order of Merit leader Mukesh Kumar (69), Vinod Kumar (70) and Anirban Lahiri (69) were tied fifth.

Indian Open winner C Muniyappa (69) was tied 12th, along with Shamim Khan (71) and two others at one-under 143.

Gaurav Ghei, who had horrendous rounds of 76 and 78, missed the cut, which was decided at five-over 149.

On a bright and sunny day, Ashok had a rather wobbly start as he hit a bogey in the second but he soon went on a birdie spree as he picked up strokes at the fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth holes to make the turn at a creditable four-under.

The Delhi-born golfer then hit a 25ft putter birdie at the 11th hole before picking up a hat-trick from the 14th to the 16th holes. He ended the day with another birdie at the last hole to end the day on a high.

“I hit the ball well, the irons played well. I got them fitted this morning and I hit well with them. I attacked the pins since morning and have been setting easy birdies. This round came at the right time for me,” Ashok said after the day’s proceedings.

“I have been suffering from a wrist injury but now I have recovered quite well. I have been out for four months. After May I didn’t play and started playing again with the PGTI tournament in Chandigarh in August. I still feel pain, I take pain killers,” Kumar added.