Bhullar rises to tied 6th, Ramsay in lead
By S S Shreekumar | ENS | Published: 20th October 2012 11:22 AM |
Scotland’s pro golfer Richie Ramsay set the Karnataka Golf Association course on fire in a way as he raced away into an early five-stroke lead after carding a five-under 66 at the Hero Indian Open on Friday.
Ramsay, winner of the Omega European Masters earlier this year, and who is playing here on a sponsor’s invitation, set the clubhouse target at 10-under 132 at the KGA course, which is hosting the US $1.25 million Asian Tour golf event for the first time. Ramsay fired a 66 as he birdied four of his last five holes to race to a three-shot lead ahead of three players including the Thai duo of Panuphol Pittayarat and Chapchai Nirat, who last won on the Asian Tour in India in 2009 where he set a new world 72-hole scoring a record of 32-under-par 256, and Jaakko Makitalo of Finland. The bunch in second place all returned cards of matching 68s.
Gaganjeet Bhullar, tied 6th and Shiv Kapur, tied 10th, were the best efforts by the Indians. The halfway cut came at three-over as 21 Indian professionals and five amateurs, including local lad Chikkarangappa, made the cut as 81 players made the weekend rounds.
Ramsay, a two-time winner in Europe, made 10 consecutive pars after his early birdie on 11 but came back strongly with four birdies in his last five holes on the second day, including a 25 foot birdie putt on the last. Ramsay produced a 4-feet put for birdie on the 5th and had a 25 feet putt for birdie on the 7th. On the next, he it was four feet for birdie and he managed a 25 foot birdie downhill on the 9th. He then made a 6 feet putt for birdie on the 11th before he eventually returned to a huge applause from the knowledgeable KGA crowd having left the pack to chase him.
Panuphol, who is hunting for his first Asian Tour title, played blindly on the last three holes as sporadic rain in the afternoon fogged up his glasses. The highlight of his day was three straight birdies from 14 including a chip in from 15 yards on hole 15. “The rain was pouring down and I didn’t bring my umbrella, which wasn’t smart at all. I was drenched going into the last few holes and the rain started to fog up my glasses! I was playing blindly in the last three holes. I kept my rhythm going so I’m happy with that,” said the 19-year-old Thailand golfer.
Thailand’s legendary Thaworn Wiratchant who is looking for a record 15th Asian Tour title win, said: “I think 10-under after two rounds (Ramsay’s) is very good. I would be happy if I had that score after four rounds! The leader is very far in front but I can’t really think about it. I can’t control what he shoots but I can only concentrate on my own game.”
Scores after Round 2:
132 - Richie Ramsay (Scot) 66-66. 135 - Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) 67-68, Chapchai Nirat (Tha), 67-68, Jaakko Makitalo (Fin) 67-68. 136 - Angelo Que (Phi) 68-68.
137 - Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha) 69-68, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 68-69, Kwanchai Tannin (Tha) 71-66, James Morrison (Eng) 66-71. 138 - Adam Groom (Aus) 70-68, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 67-71, Arnond Vongvanij (Tha) 71-67, Simon Griffiths (Eng) 70-68, Adilson Da Silva (Bra) 70-68, Scott Barr (Aus) 70-68, Jason Knutzon (USA) 68-70.
139 - Berry Henson (USA) 70-69, Mardan Mamat (Sin) 69-70, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 67-72.