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Muniyappa makes a mark at Hero Honda Open

October 09, 2009 20:16 IST

India's C Muniyappa, an unheralded golfer from Bangalore, upstaged stars like Arjun Atwal to enjoy a share of the halfway lead in the US$1.25 million Hero Honda Indian Open on Friday.

The 32-year-old, in his first season on the Asian Tour, shot a three-under-par 69 to top the leader board along with Korean Lee Sung, who shot a 70 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

The pair lead on nine-under-par 135 by a stroke from Adam Blyth from Australia and Indian Digvijay Singh and returned rounds of 72 and 68 respectively.

"I have learnt a lot from playing in Asian Tour events overseas this year and it has given me a lot of confidence. I think that is showing this week. I really am trying to focus on keeping my card this year so to be leading is an extra bonus," said Muniyappa, who plays his golf at Karnataka Golf Association golf course in Bangalore.

With 10 events under his belt, Muniyappa is in 97th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with earnings of US$17,391.

The Indian started his round on the back nine and started poorly with a bogey on the 14th. However, he made a quick-fire recovery with birdies on the next two holes and on the front nine he birdied two and six.

A birdie on the ninth hole, Lee's last, helped him finish tied with Muniyappa for top spot.

First round leader Blyth had been in the lead for much of the day before a poor back nine of three-over-par 39 saw him slip back. He was one ahead at the turn but then bogeyed 11, 13, 14, and 15. 

Two of the tournaments big players - Atwal and Michael Campbell from New Zealand - recovered well after poor first rounds. Former champion Atwal, came in with a 66 while Campbell, the 2005 US Open champion shot 67.

Leading second round scores:


135 - C. Muniyappa (IND) 66-69, Lee Sung (KOR) 65-70


136 - Digvijay Singh (IND) 68-68, Adam Blyth (AUS) 64-72


137 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 68-69, Mars Pucay (PHI) 70-67


138 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 70-68, Keith Horne (RSA) 67-71


139 - Unho Park (AUS) 67-72, Mukesh Kumar (IND) 71-68, Jason King (AUS) 66-73, Scott Hend (AUS) 69-70, Daniel Chopra (SWE) 67-72


140 - Marcus Both (AUS) 69-71, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 69-71, Raju Ali (IND) 69-71,Harinder Gupta (IND) 68-72, Stephen Leaney (AUS) 70-70


141 – Arjun Atwal (IND) 75-66


143 – Michael Campbell (NZL) 76-67