Jaibir in three-way lead

Sports Reporter
Thursday, 4 April 2019

“I didn’t know what to expect after shooting a seven-under yesterday. I just didn’t want to blow it up today and I’m glad that I didn’t,” said Jaibir after posting a card of three-under 68 following his first round score of 66.

Pune: Double bogey on the penultimate hole notwithstanding, a composed Jaibir Singh held his game well for the one final hole for a three-way lead at eight-under 134 with Sanjeev Kumar and N Thangaraja after the second round in the Pune Open Golf Championship 2019, at the Poona Club Golf course here on Wednesday.

“I didn’t know what to expect after shooting a seven-under yesterday. I just didn’t want to blow it up today and I’m glad that I didn’t,” said Jaibir after posting a card of three-under 68 following his first round score of 66.

Jaibir was in second place and one behind the leader after the first day’s play, but on Wednesday he had a dramatic round comprising six birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey. He was two-over through his first 13 holes but turned it around with a birdie chip-in on the sixth followed by two more birdies on the seventh and eighth.

“I started well and midway through the round missed a few putts and even made a double-bogey as I lost focus a bit and got nervous since I’ve never been in this situation and led a tournament before as a professional. But I finished well with those three birdies at the end. The flourish towards the end made me feel good,” said Jaibir, who started from the 10th tee on Day Two.

Sanjeev surprises
Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar produced the second day’s best score of 5-under-66 for the halfway lead along with Sri Lankan N Thangaraja and Jaibir. Kolkata’s Shankar Das (67) was one shot off the lead in fourth place.

The cut came down at three-over-145 at the Poona Club Golf Course as 53 professionals made it through.
Sanjeev Kumar (68-66), who was tied seventh and five off the lead at the start of the day, leapfrogged six spots thanks to the hot putter he brandished on the second day of action.

The 27-year-old consistent performer on the PGTI, but still in search of his maiden win, began poorly as he dropped a double-bogey on the second.

However, Sanjeev, who has a couple of runner-up finishes, rallied with five consecutive birdies from the sixth to the 10th to fight his way back . He drained two more birdies on the back-nine to emerge as title contender.

“I felt good about my game from the very outset today. When I hit a terrific tee shot on the first hole, I knew it was going to be one of those days where I could do something special. I came back really well despite the early double-bogey on the second,” said Sanjeev.

“I had changed my putting stance and grip about eight years back. But with my putting not being at its best since the start of this season, I felt it was now the right time to get back to my old style.”

N Thangaraja (66-68), lying tied fourth and three off the lead after round one, found his way to the top of the leaderboard on Wednesday thanks to his accurate chipping as three of his five birdies came as a result of brilliant chip shots that led to tap-ins. He mixed five birdies with two bogeys.

Shankar Das, who had won at the Poona Club Golf Course back in 2011, got himself in a good position with a 67. He trailed the leaders by one and overnight leader Samarth Dwivedi slipped eight spots to tied ninth at three-under-139 after a round of 76.

Pratik Nirmale (70) was the highest-placed city golfer in tied 18th at 141.

The five other Pune-based professionals who made the cut were, Pravin Pathare, Sagar Raghuvanshi, Rajiv Datar and Sameer Shaikh (all in tied 35th at 144) as well as Akshay Damale (tied 44th at 145).

Related News