McLeod Russel golf: Sanjay Kumar grabs halfway lead

Kolkata: Lucknow’s Sanjay Kumar carded a solid four-under-68 to grab the halfway lead at the McLeod Russel Tour Championship, the PGTI’s year-ending event, here Friday.

Sanjay’s aggregate score reads eight-under-136 after round two at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

Bangalore’s Anirban Lahiri returned a one-under-71 to be one shot off the lead in second place.

Sanjay Kumar fired a second successive 68 to rise from overnight tied third to first position, with his 15-feet birdie putt on the first hole laying the platform for him on day two.

The 42-year-old, a winner of six professional titles, consolidated thereafter with birdies on the fifth and 12th, sinking putts from eight to 12 feet. His only bogey came on the 13th where he missed a chip-putt. The seasoned Sanjay, who turned professional back in 1987, more than made up for his lapse on the 13th with birdie putts from a range of six to eight feet on the 15th and 17th.

Lahiri’s moved to seven-under-137 after he followed up his first round of 66 with a modest 71 Friday. Lahiri made a confident start with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the second and another birdie on the fourth, but then fell back and conceded the lead to Kumar after hitting a rough patch from the 11th to the 13th.

Lahiri finally recovered some ground as he sank 10-footers for birdies on the 14th and 16th.

Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee kept local hopes alive as he shot a 68 to end round two in tied third at six-under-138.

Abhinav Lohan of Faridabad joined Rahil in tied third after signing a card of 70 that featured four birdies and two bogeys.

Jyoti Randhawa and Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh are a further shot back in tied fifth place. Randhawa posted an even-par-72 to drop from overnight second place.

Rolex Rankings leader Rashid Khan is in tied 10th place at three-under-141 while Gaganjeet Bhullar lies tied 15th at two-under-142.

Defending champion SSP Chowrasia fired a 70 in round two to be placed tied 33rd at one-over-145.

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