New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Ajeetesh Sandhu shot a second successive 5-under but was still one shot behind joint leaders Suradit Yongcharoenchai of Thailand and Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman after the second round of the $400,000 Panasonic Open India, being played at the Delhi Golf Club here on Friday.
Suradit (66-67) and Siddikur (67-66) shared the lead at 11-under. Sandhu, one of the seven players tied-2nd a year ago, is now 10-under and sole third.
The scoreboard continued to have a liberal sprinkling of the Indian tricolour as half of the top-14 players were home stars and just over a half, 38 out of 74 making the cut were home golfers. The cut fell at 2-over 146.
Ajeetesh was third and Rashid Khan (68-68) fifth. Veteran Jeev Milkha Singh, who has made just two cuts in 15 starts in 2018 and has just one top-5 finish since his win in the 2012 Scottish Open, was T-6th with M.Dharma (70-67) and four others.
One shot behind them in T-12 place were 53-year-old Mukesh Kumar (71-67), the 2016 Panasonic Open India champion; 23-year-old Aman Raj (70-68) and 17-year-old debutant pro Kshitij Naveed Kaul, indicating India’s growing depth in golf.
Suradit, searching for his maiden Asian Tour win to coincide with his 20th birthday on Sunday, carded a bogey-free 67, while Siddikur, the master craftsman at the DGC, had eight birdies and two bogeys for the day’s best card of 66.
Interestingly, two Indian youngsters, both making their debut this week, Kaul and Yuvraj Sandhu also shot 66s, but with contrasting fortunes.
Kaul (72-66) made the cut on his debut and was T-12 but Yuvraj, despite fighting back from his first round 81 with a 66 for a 15-shot swing, missed the cut by one. Also missing the cut was debutant Aadil Bedi (77-74).