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Ghei in joint-3rd place at Beijing

April 27, 2007 18:57 IST

Gaurav Ghei played a gritty round to overcome putting problems and stay in contention for the title after the second round in the inaugural Pine Valley Beijing Open golf tournament in Beijing on Friday.

The Delhi-based golfer, who has two Asian Tour wins under his belt, hung in and returned an even par card, which cost him the overnight lead but still kept him within one shot of the joint leaders, Thai duo of Panuwat Muenlek and Chapchai Nirat.

Ghei is now seven-under 137 for 36 holes, while the two leaders are at eight-under 136.

Ghei, who shot a seven-under 65 on Thursday, is now in tied third position together with Australia's Scott Strange, who fired a 68 at the Pine Valley Golf Resort and Country Club.

Despite his struggle with the putter, Ghei, currently ranked 10th on the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit, remained optimistic ahead of the weekend challenge in the US $500,000 event.

"I didn't play too well but to be one shot off is not too bad at all," said Ghei, who won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters last year.

"I didn't really have a good day and didn't hit the ball well in the first 11 holes as I was even par."

"I told myself to just hang in there. I got my rhythm back after the 11th hole but unfortunately I didn't make any putts. But I'm pretty happy with my result overall."

Only two of the other eight Indians made the cut and they were also the only ones to break par.

Amandeep Johl, going through a lean patch, found four birdies and just one bogey for a fine 69 that gave him a total of one-under 143 and tied 40th place.

SSP Chowrasia (71) had four birdies, three of them on back nine, and three birdies as he totalled even par 144 for tied 53rd place, which was shared by 15 players.

The cut came at even par.

The ones missing the cut were Gurbaaz Mann (73) in 67th place at one over, Digvijay Singh (76) and Uttam Mundy (73) in 93rd at five over, Rahil Gangjee (74) and Harmeet Kahlon (77) at six over in tied 101st, Amardip Malik (77) and Vivek Bhandari (81) at seven over in 112nd position.

Muenlek and Nirat broke grabbed a narrow one stroke lead on Friday.

With birdies in the last two holes, the rookie Panuwat leaped to the top of the leader board with a two-under-par 70 while compatriot Chapchai battled through a stomach flu as he carded a bogey free 67 for a two day total of eight-under-par 136.

American John Daly remained in contention when he shot a 71 in tied fifth place two strokes off the pace.
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