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Rediff.com  » Sports » Chowrasia, Kumar lead Indian Open

Chowrasia, Kumar lead Indian Open

October 20, 2006 21:09 IST

India's S S P Chowrasia took a step closer to a fairytale finish in the Hero Honda Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club on Friday.

The 28-year-old fired a second round seven-under-par 65 to take a share of the clubhouse lead on 10-under-par 134 along with former winner Vijay Kumar.

England's Simon Dyson and Australian Unho Park, who is currently ranked 16th on the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit, were a shot further behind with 24 players unable to finish as darkness fell.

Chowrasia, nicknamed "Chipputtsia", because of his magical short game, nailed five birdies and an eagle.

A multiple winner of titles in India, he is a rookie on the Asian Tour this year and hit the headlines at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in September where he led after the second round but was disqualified for not signing his scorecard.

"I have got over the disappointment of the disqualification in Taiwan. It is now something in the past. In fact I did not play in China last week just to take my mind off and it has helped a lot. I am more relaxed after having spent the week at home in Kolkata," said the Indian, whose full name is Shiv Shankar Prasad.

His father was the green keeper at Royal Calcutta Golf Club and he was able to develop a brilliant short game as he lived next to one of the greens.

Chowrasia, five-under for the par-fives today, was helped by an eagle on the first. On the front nine, he had a dream run with three birdies between sixth and ninth.

Kumar, who won this event in 2002 at the same venue, shot a 68.

Like Chowrasia he did not drop a shot and made three birdies on the back side.

The 38-year-old is one of the most prolific winners of titles in India with over 50 victories and was the nation's number one ranked golfer in 1998, 1999, and 2000.

Singapore-based Park also matched Chowrasia's 65, thanks to a confident display from the tee. Most players negotiate the tight fairways at Delhi Golf Club using irons and fairway woods from the tee but Park used his driver seven times.

Said the Australian: "I am overjoyed with that. I started with a bogey on10. I had a bit of mud on the ball and forgot it was preferred lies, so I hit it and it's taken off left.  I realized on the next tee it was preferred lies. Even Amandeep (Johl) my playing partner forgot it was preferred lies."

"You have to get your tee shots in the fairway on this course otherwise you have no chance. You just have to find the fairway not matter whether it is with irons, fairway woods or rescue clubs. Fortunately I had a lot of confidence with my driver and hit it seven times off the tee. It is just in the last six to eight months that I have been hitting the driver well. Start getting a lot of confidence with my driver during the British Open qualifier in July at Sentosa in Singapore in April."

India's Jyoti Randhawa, the winner in 2000, and Prom Meesawat from Thailand, who came joint third last year, are eight under for the tournament after returning rounds of 67 and 68 respectively.

Joint first round leader Simon Dunn from Scotland crashed to a 77.

The third round will start at 0935 IST on Saturday after the second round is completed.

Leading round 2 scores

134 - S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) 69-65, Vijay Kumar (IND) 66-68

135 - Unho Park (AUS) 70-65, Simon Dyson (ENG) 68-67

136 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 69-67, Prom Meesawat (THA) 68-68

137 - Rahil Gangjee (IND) 71-66, Park Jun-won (KOR) 72-65

138 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 69-69, Chiragh Kumar [A] (IND) 69-69, Mukesh Kumar (IND) 70-68, Tony Carolan (AUS) 71-67

139 - C. Muniyappa (IND) 69-70, Mahal Pearce (NZL) 70-69, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 71-68, Muhammed Munir (PAK) 70-69

140 - Anthony Brown (AUS) 70-70, Gerald Rosales (PHI) 69-71,Matt Holten (NZL) 73-67,Suk Jong-Yul (KOR) 67-73, Scott Strange (AUS) 67-73, Michael Wright (AUS) 67-73

141 - Cookie Lao (PHI) 71-70, Mark Mouland (WAL) 71-70, Shiv Kapur (IND) 74-67, Rick Gibson (CAN) 68-73

142 - Danny Chia (MAS) 67-75, Clay Devers (USA) 71-71,Yusuf Ali (IND) 70-72, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 76-66, Yasin Ali (ENG) 69-73.