Kapur strikes on back nine to get into top-10 at Jakarta
Jakarta: Shiv Kapur landed three birdies in the last five holes to put himself in a decent position here today going into the weekend at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters.
Kapur`s three-under 69 brought him to five-under 139 and in tied ninth place at the midway stage of the tournament.
Thai star Thongchai Jaidee (65) is occupying the top spot.
Two other Indians, who made smart move on the second day were Rahil Gangjee (69) and Anirban Lahiri (69). They crept up to four-under and three-under to be tied at 13th and 20th positions, respectively.
The only other Indian making the cut was Ajeetesh Sandhu (71-75) in tied 60th.
The cut fell at two-over 146 with 69 players making the weekend rounds including 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, who shot a 75 for 145.
Himmat Rai (74-73), Sujjan Singh (70-77), Abhijit Chadha (73-75), Shankar Das (72-77), Chiragh Kumar (77-77) and C Muniyappa (74-80) missed the cut, while Jyoti Randhawa and Digvijay Singh withdrew due to back problem and injury.
"I turned something out of nothing today. I really had nothing going. I was even par through 13 holes but then I just kicked into gear and birdied 14 and 15. It is just a reward for patience on a day where it was quite breezy. I didn`t have much happening but I stayed patient and put myself back into the tournament," said Kapur.
"I have a solid eight or nine months now. I have a couple of wins in India so I obviously have a lot of confidence. If I can get within shouting distance then I can do some damage. The key is to put myself in position. Tomorrow is going to be an important day," he added.
Thongchai drew inspiration from the presence of his family members by firing a superb seven-under-par 65 to take the second round lead.
Thongchai, who holds an unprecedented three Order of Merit titles, posted a flawless round highlighted by seven birdies for two-day total of 10-under-par 134 at the USD 750,000 Asian Tour event, which is played at the immaculate Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
Australia`s Scott Barr shot a second successive 68 in his 200th appearance on the Asian Tour to trail Thongchai by two shots, while Wade Ormsby of Australia was in third position on 137.
Reigning Open Championship winner Ernie Els of South Africa shot 70 to stay in the hunt in tied fourth place with Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei and Australians Kieran Pratt, Jake Higginbottom and Scott Hend, who was the overnight co-leader.
Thongchai, who has four top-10s this season, wielded a hot putter as he continues his search for a 14th Asian Tour victory.
"My wife and two sons are here with me this week. My oldest son followed me for nine holes today but my youngest is at the hotel. I`m very happy with my family support. I want to show them that I can play very well," said Thongchai.
A top-three result at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will push him inside the top-60 on the Official World Golf Rankings, giving him a good chance to qualify for the U S Open next month.
Thongchai was the first Thai to ever play in all four rounds in the 2001 U S Open.
"I hope I can keep my confidence like this in the next few days. If I drive, hit and putt like today then I think I have a good chance to win the tournament. My putting wasn`t that good in the last few months but it is coming around now," said the world number 65.
Barr hopes to make it a really special 200th Asian Tour event by winning his first victory this week. His wife is also expected to give birth to his second child on Tuesday.
"This week sort of feels like a special week for me. I`ve had a lot of media attention and you sort of feel like you are in the limelight and ready to go. I`ve enjoyed it. Hopefully it will be a week that I will remember," said Barr.
"I`ve been preparing for my second child for months now. Obviously when I get home after this week, I will be pretty busy. It is very exciting and I`m looking forward to it," he added.
Els, nicknamed the Big Easy, endured an energy-sapping day but remained confident that he can shoot a low number and contend for the title.
"Today was a bit of a jetlag day for me. I was trying to get some energy going. Hopefully I will have more energy tomorrow. I think my game is all there. I just need to get a bit sharper mentally," said the four-time Major champion.