Round 2 at the Kolkata Classic belonged to seasoned veteran, Mukesh Kumar
In Round 2 of the Kolkata Masters at Royal Calcutta Golf Club, Mukesh Kumar surged up the leaderboard with a four-under par - 68 to move to 7 under for the tournament.
Mukesh started the day at -3, one shot behind the early leaders, Chikkarangappa and Chiragh Kumar.
He started the round with a stretch of three consistent pars before making birdies on holes 4 and 8 to turn at -2 for the day and -5 for the tournament. Mukesh missed a small putt for par on the 10th to record only his second bogey of the tournament before making three more birdies on 14, 15 and 16 on his way in. Those three birdies on the trot definitely left Mukesh with a sweet feeling from his round and happy with his day's work.
The man with over 100 wins on Indian soil said, "My ball striking hasn't been great off late but today it was a lot better with 12 greens in regulation. I feel I didn't take full advantage of that but I putted decently well.
"I didn't hit the ball as well as I felt I should have today but despite that to shoot a 4 under par round, I'm quite happy.
"Course is fantastic, the greens are great and if you can find your lines this week, then dropping putts shouldn't be very hard.
Questioned about his title credentials at the halfway stage, he said, "Winning is a different thing altogether, winning and losing is a part and parcel of the sport. I am here to play against the golf course and ay according to the way it demands.
"Winning can be easy but it's not as easy as players might think it is. Just have to give my best and as we know, there are a few top contenders for the title this week.
"I'm not playing in Nepal but I'll be taking part at the Cochin Masters as a part of my preparation for the Asian tour event in Japan. So the focus is on playing well here and regaining that confidence in my game.
"I've won a lot of tournamets here but to ome back and win here after a while will be special for me. It will also push me on for my upcoming tournaments abroad.
"Thesse young guns like SSP Chowrasia, Khalin Joshi and Chikkarangapa are long hitters, but I try and play my game. I tryand stick to my game plan of keeping it on the fairways and finiding greens as I cannot compete with these guys in terms of distance.
"No matter how long you can hit the ball, you've still got to hole putts so my main focus is always on keeping my putting sharp.
"I've played only one event on the PGTI this season in Hyderabad where I found the water on 17 and missed out on a playoff berth and finished third. And now I'm here, hungry to perform.
“I haven't had a great start to my Asian tour season as I didn't have full confidence in my game but I'm positive that playing more events with those players will give me the confidence I require.
"The field is great, it's a solid field. I'll get a good deal of confidence out of a win against such a young and stellar field but I'm also focussed on improving my own game and playing good golf.
Shamim Khan came up with the round of the day for a bogey-free score of 4 under par -68 to jump up tied seventh to second place at the halfway mark.
He said " My driving let me down a bit today and I wasn't particularly happy with how I struck the ball generally but I have managed to save my game around the greens and hole putts.
"If I can turn around my ball striking for the final two days and restrict the bogeys, then I'll have a good chance. My course-record matching round of 63 at the McLeod Russel Tour championship last year is still fresh in my memory and is definitely giving me a lot of belief this week."
The overnight leader Chikkarangappa posted a round of 71 to take his tournament total to 5 under par. While it was still a round in red figures, he slipped to third position.
Chiragh Kumar who shared the lead after Round 1 had a dissapointing day and slipped to even par for the tournament courtesy of his 4-over par round of 76.
However, SSP Chawrasia continued to make positive head-way with a 2 under par-70 round to move up to tied-fourth alongside Chandigarh’s Sujjan Singh (71) and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja (71) at -3 for the event.
At the end of the two rounds, the cut line was at 5 over-149 with fifty four professionals making it to the final two rounds.