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9 Indians make the cut in Beijing
September 02, 2005 20:18 IST
It was a fairly satisfying day for the large Indian contingent, as nine of the 13 players made the cut at the US $300,000 Volkswagen Masters tournament at the Jinghua Country club in Beijing on Friday.
Three Indians are in the running for a good top-10 finish as Amandeep Johl, Harmeet Kahlon and Digvijay Singh are all tied in 11th place.
The Indians had a great time on the front nine with Amandeep slotting five birdies while Digvijay and Harmeet made four each. Shiv Kapur and Gaurav Ghei had three each on the front nine, which was playing fairly easy.
"I made a lot of birdies today but suffered some silly bogeys. I three-putted the 11, hit a bad drive on four for bogey, which is an easy hole, and then drove it into the water on my last hole of the day on nine. I had a good back nine going as I was four under on my inward nine. I'm looking to improve on my position for the weekend," Johl said.
Kahlon said: "I didn't hit the ball well on the back nine and had an up and down run. There was very little wind today but I'm happy with my score, especially when I putted nicely.
I holed a really long one from 35 feet on 10 for birdie while the rest were from six feet. I'm playing alright at the moment and the aim now at the weekend would be to try and move up the leaderboard."
Meanwhile, world number five Retief Goosen tightened his grip on the event with a second round of five-under-par 67 for a one-shot lead after two rounds.
The South African star heads the Asian tour event at 13-under-par 131 closely followed by US Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand, who charged up the leaderboard with a superb 65.
Australian Gary Simpson was three strokes off the pace in third place after a 68, followed by Chinese stalwart Zhang Lian-wei (68), Chinese Taipei veteran Chen Tze-chung (69) and Adam Blyth of Australia (68) on 137.
Johl had five birdies on front nine and another two on back nine, but three bogeys meant only a four-under, when something much better looked in order.
"I'm quite happy as I hit some really good shots. I've worked on some things in my swing with my coach in Italy and he feels that he's put in the last brick in my swing development. Hopefully, I can start seeing the results. It's slowly coming around and I've got to take it to the course now," added Johl, who started on the tenth.
Kahlon started with three birdies in first four holes but bogeys on fifth and ninth set him back despite a birdie on sixth. On the back nine, there was another birdie on the tenth, at which point he was three-under for the day. He had a bogey on the 15th and rest were pars for a day's card of 70.
Among the other Indians in the fray, Arjun Singh made a good comeback after first round 75 with a 69 that saw him tied 44th with Gaurav Ghei. Defending champion Rahil Gangjee ensured he was in for the weekend with a 73 and he was tied 55th.
Ashok Kumar and Mukesh Kumar were right on the cut line, which came at two-over 146.
Those missing the cut were Firoze Ali (148), Sandy Lehal (149), Uttam Singh Mundy (154) and Vivek Bhandari (157).
Digvijay began in style on the front nine with four birdies in first seven holes and he turned in four-under 32.
A birdie on par-3 13th brought him five-under and a real low score looked imminent. That's when Digvijay fumbled with a double bogey on 14th. He recovered a little with another birdie on 15th and ended with three pars for a five-under 67.
Two-time major winner Goosen, who possesses one of the best swings in the game, birdied three of his first six holes but parred his next eight as he struggled with his iron play.
Two birdies on 15 and 16 ensured he entered the weekend as the firm favourite.
Leading second round scores: