Kapur one behind leader, Jeev stays in the hunt

New Delhi: Shiv Kapur and Jeev Milkha Singh were close on the heels of sole leader Spain`s Rafael Cabrera-Bello on Friday even as the second round of the euro 1.8 million (approximately USD 2.3 million) Avantha Masters was carried over into the third day.

Cabrera-Bello, who played 30 holes on Friday completed the first round in 67 and then added a three-under-par 69 to take the clubhouse lead at eight-under 136, despite two bogeys in closing three holes.

Kapur was one of the four players who had completed 36 holes and totaled seven-under 137.

Thailand`s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Kapur were trailing close behind by one shot, while Jeev was also at seven-under, one behind the leader, but he still had seven holes to play in second round, which he will complete on Saturday morning.

Also at seven-under and with seven holes to play like Jeev was Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

The Spaniard dropped two shots in his closing three holes but still managed to retain his advantage with a two-day total of eight-under-par 136 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

Kiradech and Kapur were alongside England`s Robert Coles and Denmark`s Mark F Haastrup in tied second at 137 in the event -- tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).

Spaniard Cabrera-Bello starting on the tenth birdied his opening hole before sinking a 30-feet putt for another birdie on the following par-three 11th. He continued to birdie the 15th, 16th and sixth holes before committing bogeys on holes
seven and nine.

"Eight under after two rounds and leading in the clubhouse so I`ve to be happy," said Cabrera-Bello who has won once on the European Tour.

"I`m playing well but this is a very weird sport and you have to try to focus day-by-day and shot-by-shot and if I?m in with a chance on Sunday I`ll try to take it," added the Spaniard.

Kapur who started his round tied for 44th made one of the biggest moves of the day and quickly credited his coach for turning his game around on a day when he played 27 holes, nine from the first and 18 in the second.

"The 30-minute break between the finish of the first round and the start of the second round did a world of good. I spend some time with my coach (Jamie Gough) and we found something that helped me through the second round," said
Kapur, who had a flawless round that was highlighted by seven birdies.

"After that small session with Jamie, things came together. I hit a lot of good shots and good putts, which came close or shaved the hole. There were no putts that didn?t have a chance. I could easily have been 10 or 11 under, but I suppose that can be said for everyone if all their putts fall too," added Kapur.

Former Indian Open champion and 12-time winner on Asian tour, Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and Chinese Taipei`s Lu Wei-chih took a share of eighth place after signing for a 138 total.

It was a fairly good day for the Indian contingent. Even as Shiv Kapur and Jeev placed themselves pretty close to the top, some others sparkled, too.

SSP Chowrasia, the first Indian winner of a European Tour event at home back in 2008 Indian Masters, played steadily for three-under 69 in the second round after a first round 70. He played a total of 30 holes on a long and tiring day.

"It is only beginning to hit me now," said Chowrasia after the round. "I will hit a few balls and get back to the Hotel quickly."

Sujjan Singh, who came through the Q-School to make the Asian Tour this year, was at five-under through eight holes.

He shot a 69 on first day and was two-under for eight holes on

"I am playing well and I just want to keep the momentum going," said Sujjan, whose only mistake has been a double bogey on the par-4 fifth hole in first round.

Rashid Khan, who with Jeev was the best Indian in the first round with a 68, was one-over through 16 holes. He was going fine at one-under for the second day, when he was hit by two bogeys on 13th and 15th. He was now three-under.

Gaganjeet Bhullar who had a 74 in first round fought back with a 69 on second to come to one-under and should make the weekend rounds with the cut likely at even par.


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