Dubai: Shiv Kapur birdied two of his last three holes in the second round to take a share of the midway lead at the inaugural Dubai Open golf tournament here on Friday.
The 32-year-old Kapur carded a fine six-under 66 to move to seven-under 137 and shared the lead with Pavit Tangkamol Prasert of Thailand.
Right behind Kapur and Pavit were Arjun Atwal (73-65), the Asia No. 1 in 2003, and Gaganjeet Bhullar (69-69) in tied third with Simon Yates ((71-67) at six-under.
Atwal (73-65), who has seven wins on Asian Tour, turned in one of his best rounds in recent months with a flawless seven-under 65 on Friday. Countryman Gaganjeet Bhullar (69-69) moved to six-under.
Last year Kapur won the season-ending Dubai Challenge on the European Challenge Tour in Dubai, so he will approach the weekend with positive memories of that. Kapur opened with an eagle and then dropped a shot on third, before birdies on fourth, sixth and eighth saw him turn in 32. On the back nine after six pars, he birdied 16th and 17th to close with a 66.
"I like Dubai, it is my second home," said Kapur with a big smile. "I'm a resident of Dubai, have lots of friends and family here. I love this place. The last time I won here it was the season ending event (on European Challenge Tour), I won, so fingers crossed I can continue the mojo."
Atwal had four birdies on his first nine, the back stretch of the course and then three more on second nine, while Bhullar opened with a bogey on 10th and turned in even par after a birdie on 12th. On his second nine, he birdied three times to finish at 69 for second straight day.
Jeev Milkha Singh (71) was even par after 36 holes, while Daniel Chopra fired two rounds of 72 each to be tied with Jeev at 46th.
Jyoti Randhawa (74 and 73), Chiragh Kumar (73-75) who closed with a double bogey, will miss the cut, as will SSP Chowrasia (75-73) and Rashid Khan (75-74).
Atwal, a former Asian Tour number one and the first Indian winner on the PGA Tour, was flawless at a benign Els Club Dubai as he sank seven birdies to shoot up the leaderboard with Bhullar, who birdied two of his last three holes for a 69.
Since his historic triumph on the PGA Tour in 2010, Atwal?s form has dipped due to injuries and he has notched only one top-10 over the past two years. But with the Dubai Open being his fifth straight tournament on the Asian Tour, where he has not missed a cut, he hopes to turn the corner with his game.