SRINAGAR: Delhi golfer Honey Baisoya and Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi moved into the joint halfway lead after round two of the J&K Open 2021 Presented by J&K Tourism at the Royal Springs Golf Course in Srinagar.
Baisoya (67-69), benefitting from his new putter this week, went error-free for the second straight day. His second round three-under 69 took his tournament tally to eight-under 136.
Joshi (69-67), also finding his groove with the putter, posted a flawless five-under 67 to join Baisoya at the top of the pack at the Rs. 40 lakh PGTI event.
Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (72-65) followed up his first round 72 with the joint lowest score of the second day, a seven-under 65, that propelled him 22 places to tied third at seven-under 137.
Olympian Udayan Mane (65-72), the first round leader by two shots, slipped to tied third following his 72 on Thursday.
Ahmedabad’s Shravan Desai (69-68) was in a three-way tie in third place along with Yuvraj and Udayan.
The cut was declared at two-over 146 and 54 professionals made it to the last two rounds.
Honey Baisoya, a six-time winner on the PGTI, reaped the reward for keeping the errors out of his game for the second day running. He made three successive birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th and made pars on all the other holes.
The 25-year-old Honey said, “I was struggling with my putting prior to this event and I missed the cut in the last two events. So I changed my putter this week which seems to have made all the difference here in Srinagar as my putting has been the best part of my game on the first two days.
“I had a great stretch from the 11th hole onward today. I made a terrific par save on the 11th making an up and down from a tough lie. That kind of lifted me and helped me go on a birdie run over the next three holes.”
Khalin Joshi, a winner on the Asian Tour, began his day with birdies on his first two holes and carried forward the rhythm to finish with five birdies in all.
The 29-year-old Khalin, who had a top-20 the last time he played in Srinagar in 2014, said, “I’ve been striking it well but my putting wasn’t up there before this match. But I made some crucial putts today especially for par on the fourth and sixth.”
Yuvraj Singh Sandhu was inspired playing alongside Indian golf legend Jyoti Randhawa as he struck a 65 hitting it close on most holes. He managed to retrieve a birdie on the 14th despite being in the bunker and staring at a difficult up and down.
Udayan Mane had four birdies on Thursday but his two bogeys and the double-bogey on the second made it a mixed day for him.
Shravan Desai’s eagle-two on the third stood out in his round of 68 that placed him tied third.
Karnal’s Mani Ram also shot a 65, like Yuvraj, to record the lowest score of the day. He ended the day in tied sixth at six-under 138 along with Delhi-based Kshitij Naveed Kaul (68) Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat (71) and Dhruv Sheoran (66).
Ahmedabad’s Anshul Patel made a hole-in-one on the second during his round of 67. He occupied tied 17th place at three-under 141.
PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar (69) of Chandigarh and Indian golf legend Jyoti Randhawa (72) were both in tied 31st place at even-par 144.
Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa (73), the last winner at Royal Springs Golf Course, was in tied 48th at two-over 146.
All the professional and amateur golfers from J&K missed the cut.
The PGTI conducted a golf clinic for trainees from the Govt of J&K’s Golf Academy at the Royal Springs Golf Course on Thursday afternoon. The school kids and club members who attended the clinic were given valuable tips by leading Indian professional golfers Khalin Joshi, Aman Raj and Veer Ahlawat.