Hyderabad: Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi posted a four-under-67 to take centrestage in round two of the Golconda Masters Golf Championship being played at the Hyderabad Golf Club. Joshi grabbed a two-shot lead as his halfway total stood at 11-under-131.
Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat fired a 68 to move into second place at nine-under-133.
Shamim Khan produced the day’s best score of 63 to rise to tied third at eight-under-134. The three others in joint third were Kolkata’s Shankar Das, Bengaluru’s Trishul Chinnappa and Chandigarh’s Angad Cheema.
The halfway cut was declared at one-over-143. Fifty-five professionals made the cut.
Venkkat Gautham (69-72) was the only Hyderabad-based professional to make the cut. He was in tied 37th at one-under-141. Former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, playing as a professional for the first time, missed the cut as he totaled 26-over-168.
Shamim produced a fabulous run of five consecutive birdies from the 13th to the 17th during his 63. He sank a total of 10 birdies against two bogeys.
Prominent names including Delhi’s Rashid Khan (69), Pune’s Udayan Mane (67) and Patna’s Aman Raj (71) were in tied seventh at seven-under-135.
Round one leader Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh shot a 75 and thus dropped to tied 20th at four-under-138.
Khalin (64-67), lying overnight tied second and one off the lead, got off to a flying start on Thursday with a birdie blitz on the first three holes where he played his wedges to perfection.
The 27-year-old former Asian Tour winner landed his lob wedge approach from 44 yards within an inch of the pin on the second hole.
Khalin then had a bumpy stretch as a three-putt and two erratic tee shots brought him three bogeys in exchange for two birdies between the fifth and the ninth. Joshi, a four-time winner on the PGTI, made his fourth three-putt of the tournament on the 10th where he made par after missing a two-footer for birdie.
However, Khalin salvaged the round and emerged leader with birdies on the 14th and 15th making a 17-footer on the latter.