Bengaluru, November 16, 2017: Twenty-one-year-old Honey Baisoya of Delhi smashed a phenomenal eight-under-64, the joint lowest score in a professional event at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course, to establish a healthy three-shot lead at 13-under-131 at the halfway stage of the Rs. 1 crore Bengaluru Open Golf Championship sponsored by Karnataka Tourism.
It was a day that belonged to the young guns on the PGTI as 26-year-old Udayan Mane, who moved base from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad earlier this year, also came up with an exceptional seven-under-65 to lie second at 10-under-134.
Honey Baisoya (67-64), a winner of four titles on the PGTI in the last one year, including two this season, delivered an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey on Thursday to power ahead of the rest.
Baisoya’s standout performance helped him equal his second round playing partner Amardip Sinh Malik’s 2010 record for the lowest score in a professional event at the KGA. Honey was two strokes short of Khalin Joshi’s course record of 10-under-62 set during an amateur event in 2012.
Baisoya, lying overnight tied sixth, one off the lead, was even-par for the day after making his third three-putt of the week on the 12th, a hole he bogeyed. Honey then used his putter to great effect, making 10 to 20 feet birdie conversions on the 14th, 15th and 17th.
Baisoya, who has two top-10s to his credit on the Asian Tour this year, then stormed into the lead with an eagle chip-in on the first followed by a birdie on the next. Two long birdie conversions on the fifth and sixth ensured the long-hitting Honey finished the day with a comfortable three-shot cushion.
Baisoya said, “My putter was on fire today. I made seven putts from a range of 10 to 20 feet. I made 26 putts in all. I didn’t have the best of starts today but I was hitting it long today so was in a good frame of mind. The chip-in for eagle spurred me on.
“This happens to be my joint best score ever. I shot a 64 during the Digboi week last year, a tournament I won. I made some really good recoveries midway through my round today so that also added to my confidence.
“It was great to play alongside Jyoti Randhawa on the first two days as he has been one of my idols. I’ve seen him win international events in Delhi. He gave me some valuable advice after today’s round. He asked me not to change my swing at any point and also to concentrate on my short-game. I’ll always keep that in mind,” added Honey, currently placed fifth on the PGTI Order of Merit.
Udayan Mane (69-65) produced a cracking 65 to make major gains on day two. He moved up from overnight tied 14th to second place.
Mane, also a winner of two titles this season and currently in second on the PGTI money list, had a steady back-nine, making the turn at one-under. He then put together six birdies on the front-nine including five in a row from the fourth to the eighth.
Udayan said, “I had a late breakfast today and therefore had to rush through my practice. But I didn’t let that affect me as I managed to calm myself down before the tee off.
“My putting made all the difference today as the putts dropped for me. The momentum kept building on the front-nine as I felt increasingly confident with the putter. This is my best score at KGA till date and puts me in a good position ahead of the last two rounds.
“I may have shifted base to Ahmedabad but I still feel pretty much at home here in Bengaluru and am confident of doing well this week.”
Round one joint leader Sujjan Singh of Chandigarh, still recovering from fever, shot a brave 70 on day two to keep himself in the race. He closed the day in third at eight-under-136.
Himmat Rai (71) of Delhi, another round one joint leader, slipped to tied fourth at seven-under-137. He shared the fourth spot with Bengalurean M Dharma (70), Delhi-based Veer Ahlawat (70) and the Chandigarh duo of Harendra Gupta (69) and Abhijit Singh Chadha (69).
Round one joint leaders Chikkarangappa (72) of Bengaluru and Delhi’s Shamim Khan (72) occupied tied ninth at six-under-138 along with another Bengaluru golfer Rahil Gangjee (68).
Khalin Joshi (70), also a local favourite was tied 12th at five-under-139 while Sri Lankan Anura Rohana (74), one of five joint leaders on day one, dropped to tied 15th at four-under-140.
The cut fell at two-over-146 as 57 professionals made it to the money rounds.
Indian star Jyoti Randhawa (72-75) missed the cut by one shot as he totaled three-over-147 after a second round of 75.