Taking advantage of home conditions,Chandigarh golfer Akshay Sharma grabbed the lead as he carded a score of five-under-67 on the second day of the PGTI Players Championship at Chandigarh Golf Club.
Sharma now has a two-stroke lead at his home course as his total score read eight-under-136. Kolkatas Rahil Gangjee occupied second place at six-under-138 after posting a 71 on Wednesday. Akshay Sharma (69-67),who finished third at PGTIs Feeder Tour event last week,climbed from overnight tied fifth to the top of the leaderboard with his remarkable second round effort. Akshay made an extraordinary recovery after finding the trees on the fifth. His second shot from 120 yards out stopped within a foot of the flag,leaving him an easy tap-in for birdie. The 23-year-old dropped a stroke on the seventh but was back in business with a flurry of birdies thereafter.
Akshays approach from 140 yards on the ninth left him with a three-foot birdie putt which he converted. The two-time runner-up on the Feeder Tour landed his five-iron tee shots within four feet on the 11th and 14th leading to birdies. Sharma also knocked down an 18-feet birdie putt on the 13th and a mammoth 30-footer for birdie on the 17th.
My iron hitting was brilliant. I landed four of my iron shots within four feet of the hole on day two. Im playing with a lot of confidence after my good finish on the Feeder Tour last week. This is my home course and Ive adjusted well to the greens. I also hit a lot of fairways today. My best result on the PGTI so far,a tied 18th finish,was also achieved at Chandigarh Golf Club earlier this year. So that has added to my confidence, said Sharma.
The focus over the next two days would be to hit maximum greens in regulation and make as few bogeys as possible, added Sharma.
Rahil Gangjee (67-71),the overnight leader,opened the day with a birdie on the first before making a three-putt for bogey on the fifth for the second day in succession. He went over-par for the day thanks to another bogey on the ninth. Rahil pulled a stroke back on the 13th after a good up and down from the bunker. Gangjee holed a 25-footer to earn his last birdie of the day on the 15th.
Gangjee,playing at Chandigarh after three years,said,I had no momentum going today. I didnt get the yardages right and missed a number of fairways. Im also still adapting to the speed of the greens.