Chowrasia, Lahiri improve on rain-hit second day in Singapore

Singapore: Indian golfers SSP Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri completed their opening round and improved their positions before rain left them stranded midway through the second round at the Barclay`s Singapore Open on Friday.

Weather played spoilsport once again as more than half the field was yet to begin their second round. In fact, none of the players who played in the first session yesterday got any action today.

India`s best placed players on the first day, Himmat Rai and Jyoti Randhawa, both two-under in first round, were left cooling their heels in the clubhouse as were Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar.

Both Chowrasia and Lahiri, who got to play a substantial bit of the second round, were two-under for the tournament with five and nine holes to play respectively.

Simon Dyson, a former Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, and Thai Chapchai Nirat, who has practiced to be a monk in the past, shared the clubhouse lead at six-under.

Dyson had five more to play in the second round, while Chapchai had nine holes more to go.

Of the other Indian players, Chiragh, who was one-over for the first round, which he completed this morning needing to play nine holes this morning, played the first nine of his second round in two-under to come to even par for the tournament.

Shamim, two-over in first round, was two-over through 15 holes in the second round to go four-over, while Digvijay was two-over through 10 to become five-over. Jeev Milkha Singh had pulled out and Rashid Khan (76) retired after the first round.

Chowrasia, who played 13 holes from his first round and then eight in the second, completed his opening round in 70. He then began his second round with a birdie to be one-under through eight holes in his incomplete second round and was two-under for the tournament.

Lahiri started with a double bogey on tenth, but fought back very strongly with four birdies and no bogeys after that before rain and thunder halted play for the day.

Jose Maria Zamora, the Tournament Director, in a statement said: "At present, our aim is still to complete 72 holes, weather permitting. We hope to finish the second round at approximately 3.15pm tomorrow, at which time there will be a re-draw for round three, which will not start before 4pm.

"The third and fourth rounds would then be played with the same draw, which would allow us to finish at approximately 5.15pm on Sunday, provided there are no further delays.

"However, if we do suffer more delays we would then decide, in consultation with the sponsor and promoter, whether to reduce the tournament to 54 holes or complete the fourth round on Monday."

Weather has been a huge problem for the tournament. Since its revival in 2005, the tournament has twice been reduced to 54 holes in 2006 and 2011. It went the full 72 holes and finished on Sunday in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, but spilled over to Monday in 2010. Last year it was a three-day 54-hole affair ending on a Monday.

The organisers looked to make up for lost time with a quick turnaround after the completion of the first round and Dyson starting the second round on the 10th, promptly birdied the 12th, 14th, 18th and first in his first 13 holes to join Chapchai on six-under. Then thunderstorms arrived and no further play was possible.

Earlier in the morning, Chapchai, who also holds the world 72-hole scoring record at 32-under at the 2009 SAIL Open on the Asian Tour, returned to complete his first round with a bogey-free round of 65 to claim the outright lead.

With the cut likely to fall at one-over, World No. 1 and Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy was walking gingerly in the tournament. He birdied the 11th hole to sign for an opening round of 70, but a double bogey at the 13th hole in second round saw him drop back to level par through 11 holes.

At five-under, there was overnight clubhouse leader Thomas Bjorn, who didn`t get a hit today, but he was joined by Italian pair Francesco Molinari (four-under through 14 holes in second round) and Matteo Manassero (three-under through 12 in second round).


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