Lahiri opens up seven-stroke lead on day two

Pune: Bangalore based Anirban Lahiri fired a
second consecutive five under 65 to open up a seven-stroke
lead at the PGTI Players Championship at Aamby Valley Golf
Course near Lonavla on Wednesday.

The 2009 PGTI Order of Merit champion`s imposing two-day
tally stood at 14 under 130, far ahead of second-placed Shamim
Khan and Rafick Ali Mollah with the next best 36-hole
aggregate of seven under 137 on day two.

Shamim Khan (71-66) of Delhi and Rafick Ali Mollah
(66-71) of Kolkata shared the second position, the former`s
bogey-free 66 in round two propelling him from overnight tied
19th to tied second.

Bangladesh`s Mohd. Siddikur Rahman and Abhishek Jha of
Bangalore were tied fourth at six under 138. Gurki Shergill of
Pune is tied sixth at five under 139 along with Ashok Kumar of
Delhi, Australian Kunal Bhasin and Bangalore golfers C
Muniyappa and R Murthy.

The cut was declared at four over 148. Fifty-two
professionals and one amateur made the cut.
Lahiri (65-65) was a little slow off the blocks as he was
level after the first five holes, having made birdie-bogey on
the 12th and 13th.

He got into the groove by collecting birdies on the 15th,
17th and 18th, punctuated by a fabulous 50-foot downhill putt
from the left edge for birdie on the 15th.

Lahiri then followed up his birdie on the third with an
immaculate eagle on the seventh where his second shot stopped
one foot short of the pin.

The Asian Tour regular wrapped up his round in style with
yet another birdie on the ninth where he chipped it to within
six inches of the flag from just short of the green.

"I did not have a great start considering the fact that I
didn`t capitalise on the first two par five holes, the 12th
and 14th. However, the 50 feet birdie putt on the 15th got my
confidence going. I made some long birdie putts on the 17th,
18th and the third to consolidate further," he said at the end
of the second round.

"I had an exceptional second nine since I made
regulations on all the holes (1 to 9) and even hit the two par
five greens in two shots.”

"My ball-striking was also excellent on the second nine.
The four-iron second shot on the seventh was the high-point of
my round. I hit that shot from 220 yards out into the wind and
landed it one foot from the hole to set up an easy eagle
putt," he added.


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