Bhandari seizes early lead

Vivek Bhandari of Delhi returned a five under 65 at the Golmuri Golf Course to seize the lead in round two of the 10th TATA Open.

Jyoti Randhawa

Bhandari now has a total score of seven under 135. Jyoti Randhawa also shot a 65 at Golmuri to be one stroke off the lead in second place.

The cut was declared at three over 145. Fifty-one professionals and one amateur made the cut.

On Thursday one half of the field had played its 18 holes at the par 72 Beldih Golf Course while the golfers in the other half had completed their rounds at the par 70 Golmuri Golf Course. On Friday both halves of the field switched venues (those who played at Beldih on day one, played 18 holes at Golmuri on day two and vice-versa).

Vivek Bhandari (70-65), who was overnight tied 13th after his opening round of two under 70 at the Beldih Golf Course, got off to a brilliant start on Friday. He birdied the opening hole with a 15-feet putt. The bogey on the second did not deter the 40-year-old from the Delhi Golf Club as he rallied to collect birdies on the fourth and sixth. Vivek sank a 25-footer on the sixth.

Bhandari built on his solid front nine on Friday by sinking three more birdies on the 11th, 13th and 17th. Vivek’s 20-feet birdie putt on the 17th helped him finish the day on top of the leaderboard.

“I kept the ball in play and made some long putts. I knew it was important to putt well today in order to stay in contention. Besides putting well I also hit it really close on a couple of occasions to set up birdies. I’ve spent some of my childhood years in Jamshedpur so it feels great to perform well at this venue,” said Bhandari.

Jyoti Randhawa (71-65) climbed from overnight tied 16th to second place as a result of his 65 in round two at the Golmuri Golf Course. The Gurgaon-based professional made six birdies and a bogey in the second round.

Randhawa said, “I was swinging the club well today and my rhythm was good.. I hit it close through the day. I just wish I could make a few more putts..”

Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (65-72) of Bangladesh and Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan (71-66) are in tied third at five under 137.

KPS Sekhon of Chandigarh achieved the rare feat of making four birdies in a row (11th to 14th) during his round of even par 70 at Golmuri. Sekhon is currently placed tied 20th at even par 142.

Karan Taunk (75-69) of Jamshedpur was the lone amateur to make the cut. He is in tied 36th place at the moment with a total score of two over 144.



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