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Pathania wows on Pune grounds

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Apr 7, 2016, 10:36 pm IST
Updated : Apr 7, 2016, 10:36 pm IST

Greater Noida’s Mandeo Singh Pathania led by two shots from Harendra Gupta with a six-under 66 in the second round of the inaugural Pune Open golf tournament on Wednesday.

Mandeo Singh Pathania
 Mandeo Singh Pathania

Greater Noida’s Mandeo Singh Pathania led by two shots from Harendra Gupta with a six-under 66 in the second round of the inaugural Pune Open golf tournament on Wednesday.

Pathania’s second round effort took his total to nine-under-135, while Chandigarh’s Gupta shot the day’s best score of seven-under 65 that propelled him to seven-under 137 at the `30 lakh event.

Pathania (69-66), overnight tied fifth, posted a bogey-free 66 to take the pole position at the half way stage. The 33-year-old from Jaypee Greens picked up three strokes from a range of six to 10 feet and also capitalised on three of the four par-5s with birdies.

Pathania, a former winner on the PGTI, who spent most of last year playing professional golf in Canada, could have drained an eagle as well had he not missed a five-footer on the fourth. Pathania, known for his long-hitting is using the opportunity of playing at the Pune Open to tune his game before he heads back to Canada to play pro golf in summer.

Gupta (72-65), who began the day seven shots off the lead, climbed into contention on Wednesday thanks to his improved ball-striking. The 31-year-old made good use of the advice he received on his swing from Bangladesh professional Mohammad Sayum last week in Dhaka.

Harendra, a winner of eight professional titles, got into rhythm with an eagle on the par-5 ninth. He thereafter accumulated five birdies on the back nine by landing it within six feet on most occasions.

Round one leader Pratap Atwal followed up his opening round 65 with a 73, to slip to tied third at six-under-138.

Atwal sank an eagle and a birdie but also had two bogeys and a double bogey on the day.

Ranjit Singh shot a second straight 69 courtesy his sharp chipping and putting to join Atwal in tied third. Gaganjeet Bhullar’s second round 71 placed him fifth at five-under-139. Chiragh Kumar returned a 74 to be placed tied 11th at three-under-141. Rashid Khan’s 71 meant he was a shot back in the tied 13th.

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane and Delhi’s Himmat Singh Rai were tied 21st at one-under-143. Rookies Aman Raj of Patna and Noida-based Samarth Dwivedi, both playing their first professional event, also took a share of 21st place.

Pravin Pathare and Sagar Raghuvanshi closed Round Two in the tied 27th place with totals of even-par-144. A total of 50 professionals made the cut.