Rajiv Kumar and Mukesh Kumar shot into the lead on a day when Yusuf Ali carded a hole-in-one in The Hindu Open tournament, on the Hero Honda Golf Tour 2003, in Chennai on Thursday.
Rajiv Kumar shot a level-par 72 for a two-day total of two-under 142 to share the lead with defending champion Mukesh Kumar, who made one-under 71 to displace overnight leader Monish Bindra, who shot a 11-over 83.
Feroz Ali had the best round of the day with a total of 2-under 70 and shared the third position with four others - Rafiq Ali, Rahul Ganapathy, Sanjay Kumar and C Muniyappa with a 36-hole total of 1-under 143.
As many as 55 professionals made it to the money making rounds after the cut was applied at eight-over 152.
Amateurs Gurunath Meiyappan, who continued to lead the field and L Selvadurai also made the pro cut.
Gurbaaz Mann, Digvijay Singh, Rohtas Singh were among the noticeable players who missed the bus.
Yusuf Ali was in the limelight when he aced the par-3 fourth hole. Using a 9-iron off the tee on the 145-yard hole, the diminutive pro from Kolkata had just the pin in his sight. The ball pitched about three feet behind the flag and spun a bit to the left before rolling into the cup.
The 24-year-old has so far had three hole-in-ones in his career.
The playing conditions were a wee bit difficult with strong winds blowing and greens not holding. Mukesh Kumar, beginning from the tenth, drove superbly as he birdied the 11th. However, after a tough lie in the bunker on the 12th, he was forced to settle for a bogey. He also three-putted from 15 ft on the par-5 16th for yet another bogey. On the finishing hole of his forward journey, the pro from Mhow made a double bogey. However, in the back nine, he fired three birdies on the first, sixth and ninth thus saving a stroke for the day.
Top scores after 36 holes (Pro): 142 mukesh Kumar (71, 71), Rajiv Kumar (70,72), 143 Fero Ali (73,70), Rafiq Ali (70, 73), Rahul Ganapathy (70, 73), Sanjay Kumar (71, 72), C Muniyappa (71, 72), 144 Gast Ram (69, 75), Akbar Ali (71, 73), Vijay Kumar (72, 72), 145 Uttam Singh Mundy (71, 74), Basad Ali (72, 73), SSP Chowrasia (73, 72), Roop Singh (72, 73), Sandeep Syal (70, 75).
Amateurs: 148 Gurunath Meiyappan (70, 78), 151 L Selvardurai (78, 73), 163 S Jayanan (86, 77).