Rashid Khan and Chikkarangappa emerge top contenders in round two

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Delhi’s Rashid Khan fired a second straight six-under-64 to take the lead in round two of the CG Open 2013 being played at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club in Mumbai. Rashid thus took his two-day total to 12-under-128. Chikkarangappa S of Bangalore shot a five-under-65 to be placed one shot behind Rashid in second place.

Rolex Rankings leader Rashid Khan (64-64) produced the best round of the day to climb from overnight tied second to the top of the leaderboard. Rashid, the runner-up at last year’s CG Open, boosted his chances of a title triumph this time around with the help of two eagles and four birdies against two bogeys.

The 22-year-old Khan followed up his birdie on the third with an eagle conversion from 20 feet on the fourth. Between two bogeys on the seventh and 12th, Rashid salvaged a birdie on the ninth, thanks to an outstanding approach shot from 175 yards that stopped a few inches from the cup. The wiry golfer picked up a shot on the 15th after once again landing it within a foot. He finished in high spirits after collecting another birdie on the 16th and converting a seven-footer for his second eagle of the day on the par-5 18th.

“My hitting has been spot-on so far. I picked up three strokes early on and then just dropped a couple of strokes in the middle stages. However, I came back well on the last four holes. It was great to finish the day with an eagle. I made the par-5 holes count as I made both my eagles on the par-5s and also picked up a birdie on the par-5 16th,” said Rashid.

Chikkarangappa S (64-65), who was overnight tied second, posted a 65 on Thursday that placed him lone second at 11-under-129 and kept him in the contest. The rookie started his day in spectacular fashion with a 15-feet eagle conversion on the first. Chikka then had a hat-trick of birdies from the third to the fifth before hitting a rough patch over the next nine holes that consisted of four bogeys. He finally produced an amazing run of four consecutive birdies from the 15th through the 18th.

Chikka said, “My focus was on the par-5s and I managed to capitalize on all of them. I made an eagle and three birdies on the four par-5s. The best shot of the day came on the par-3 17th where I missed a hole-in-one by just three inches. I also converted three putts from a range of 15 to 20 feet. I would look to hit maximum fairways and regulations over the next two rounds in order to stay in the hunt.”

Abhijit Singh Chadha (66-66) of Chandigarh and Abhishek Jha (66-66) of Bangalore are three shots behind Chikkarangappa in joint third place. Kolkata’s Shankar Das (68-66) lies fifth at six-under-134.

Panchkula’s Angad Cheema, the overnight leader, slipped to tied 19th place after shooting a 75 that took his total score to two-under-138.

Defending champion Harendra Gupta is in tied 47th place at two-over-142.

The cut was declared at two-over-142. Sixty-one professionals made the cut.

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