Thangaraja surges ahead with a flawless 67 at Chittagong Open
Chittagong, Mar 22 (PTI) Indian golfer Aman Raj struck a four-under 68 to lie tied second at 11-under-133 after day two of the Chittagong Open at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club here today.
Bangladesh's Md Sajib Ali carded a second round of four-under-68 to share the second place with Raj. Sri Lankan N Thangaraja, meanwhile, exhibited some outstanding iron-play during his flawless five-under-67 to grab an outright one-shot lead at 12-under-132.
Thangaraja (65-67) struck his irons and wedges with pin-point precision on day two to pick up five birdies that gave him a one-shot advantage at the top of the pack.
Thangaraja, who was part of the four-way lead in round one, was off to a terrific start today as he made chip-putt birdies on the 10th and 11th, his first two holes.
The 36-year-old Thangaraja then came agonizingly close to making a hole-in-one on the 15th where his tee shot landed inches from the pin.
The Colombo resident, on the road to recovery from a knee injury, once again missed the hole by a whisker with his tee shot on the second. He tapped-in for birdies on both occasions.
Thanga's chip-in on the third accounted for his fifth birdie of the day and put him in the driver's seat. The two-time winner on the PGTI made six pars thereafter which included an incredible recovery from the water on the ninth.
Md Sajib Ali (65-68), one of the four joint overnight leaders, delivered yet another impressive performance with his 68 to stay in the hunt for the title. Sajib, who started form the 10th, was not as consistent as he would've liked over the first 10 holes as he made four birdies but also dropped four shots.
But the Dhaka-based Sajib made a strong comeback on the front-nine with some exceptional wedge shots from a range of 70 to 100 yards that helped him collect four birdies.
India's Veer Ahlawat, who made two eagles en route his 66, the day's joint best score, was placed fourth at nine-under-135.
Bangladesh's Md Ismail returned a 70 which featured an eagle, two birdies and two bogeys, to be placed fifth at eight-under-136.
Among the other prominent names, round one joint leader Harendra Gupta (73) of India dropped to tied seventh at six-under-138 while Bangladesh's Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (68) was in tied 11th at four-under-140.
The cut was declared at five-over-149. Fifty-two professionals made the cut which included 21 Bangladeshis, 28 Indians, two Sri Lankans and one South African