Shankar, Jaini in top-10; Lahiri fight back in Queens Cup
Samui (Thailand): Anirban Lahiri fought his way back in the second round with a three-under 68 even as Manav Jaini (68-72) and Shankar Das (70-70) advanced to the top-10 at the half-way mark of the Queen`s Cup golf tournament at the Santiburi Country Club here today.
Lahiri, who seemed to have put himself in a spot with a first round 75, carded 68 to move to tied 24th alongside Rahil Gangjee (73-70).
Making a fine comeback after a disastrous 78 in first round was Rashid Khan, the SBI-SAIL Open winner, whose second round 66 was the joint best round of the day. Rashid is tied 34th, alongside Jyoti Randhawa (71-73).
Meanwhile, Thai rookie Poom Saksansin stayed bogey-free for the second straight day as a four-under 67 gave him a two-shot halfway lead over Korea`s Baek Seuk-hyun today.
Chiragh Kumar (71-74) in tied 44th place and Digvijay Singh (76-70) in tied 56th were among the eight Indian golfers out of the 13 who made the cut.
Shankar, who had four birdies against a double bogey and a bogey on first day, had four birdies and three bogeys on second. Jaini, who has finished in top-10 in Asian Tour events at his home course in Delhi, had two birdies and three bogeys. Lahiri`s round had just one bogey against four birdies, three of them on his first nine, the front side of the course.
But the star was Rashid, who began with an aggressive manner, notching three birdies in first four holes, but also dropped bogeys on second and sixth. Then on back nine he had four birdies and no blemishes. Leader Poom, 21, produced some breath-taking golf as he fired four birdies, including a 30-foot stunner on the third hole, to move to nine-under 133.
Bangkok-based Baek sank eight birdies en route to the day`s joint best of 66 to move into contention for a first victory on the region`s premier Tour, while another Thai newcomer Donlaphatchai Niyomchon shot a 68 to lie three back in the prestigious event which has been won four times by Thai golfers over the past five seasons.
Former champion Chinnarat Phadungsil and EurAsia Cup star Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh will enter the weekend rounds five off the pace in tied fourth place following matching 70s while two-time Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant (68), Chapchai Nirat (67) and Singaporean newcomer Choo Tze Huang (72) are tied sixth on 139.
The halfway cut was set at 146 with 68 players, including two amateurs, progressing into the weekend rounds.