Defending champion Shubhankar Sharma carded a superb four-under 68 to leap from overnight T-41 to Tied-11th at the halfway stage of the Maybank Championship on Friday.
Shubhankar, who won the event last with an amazing final day sprint, was the best Indian as Gaganjeet Bhullar, who was T-8 after the first day, slipped 36 places after turning in three-over 75.
Seven of the 11 Indians made the cut and leading them was Shubhankar, while young Viraj Madappa, who shot 70 on first day, added 72 on second day to lie Tied-30th.
SSP Chawrasia, who has missed the cut in four of the five starts in the European Tour in 2019, shot 74 but made the weekend with the help of his first round 69 and he was Tied-43rd.
Other Indians making the weekend were Bhullar (68-75) at T-43, S Chikkarangappa (75-69) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (72-72) at T-55th.
Khalin Joshi (73-72), Arjun Atwal (73-74), Rahil Gangjee (76-72) and Shiv Kapur (77-72) missed the cut.
Indonesia’s Danny Masrin charged up the leaderboard to trail Belgium’s Thomas Pieters by one shot in tied-second place after the second round.
Masrin (69-68) has a two-day total of seven-under-par 137, while Pieters, one half of the Belgium’s World Cup of Golf winning duo in Melbourne last November, started the day two shots off the lead in sixth place. But by the time the day he ended he was in lead at eighth under after rounds of 67-69.
Spain’s Nacho Elvira shares the second place with Masrin.
American Paul Peterson made light work of the sweltering heat in Malaysia by signing for a 68 to make his move up the leaderboard and take a share of fourth place that also included Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa, Thailand’s Jazz Janaewattananond and 2014 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States.
The weekend cut was set at even-par with 74 players making the cut.
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