On a day when 13 golfers made better second round scores than him, Chandigarh golfer Karandeep Kochhar held his nerve to card a second round score of two-under-70 to grab the share of the lead along with Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa with an overall score of eight-under-146 in the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational presented by Take Solutions at Chandigarh Golf Club.
19-year-old Kochhar, who started playing golf on the insistence of his grandfather Dr GS Kochhar, started the day at the second spot trailing overnight leader, Shiv Kapur, by one shot. The youngster sank seven birdies apart from one double-bogey and three bogeys to still be in the contention at the half-way stage.
“It was a very different round for me as compared to the first round. I did not hit the ball well but my putting made up for the bad tee shots. The conditions were slightly windy as compared to Thursday and the pin positions were a bit tougher than the first round. I had to adjust my game according to that and the double bogey on the 11th hole did spoil my back-nine score. I was even par on the back-nine and the four birdies on the front-nine gave me a lot of confidence. The two birdies on the last two holes for the round gave me the momentum. I will aim to play aggressively in the third round too,” shared Kochhar, who became the youngest winner on the PGTI back in 2016 at the age of 17 years.
While Kochhar had shot his best score in a round this year by scoring six-under-66 in the first round, another Chandigarh based golfer, Sujjan Singh, shot the day’s best round score of six-under-66, which was also matched to Chikkarangappa’s. Singh, who was placed tied at 31st position after the end of the first round, had a bogey on the 14th hole but returned with four successive birdies from the 16th hole to the first hole on his back-nine. Singh was placed tied-fourth position at the end of the second round.
“I did not start well today. My score was one-over par after the first five holes today. But the conversion of birdie on the 16th hole from ten-feet boosted my confidence. The three successive birdies on the back-nine meant that I was in good shape. I had spent some time working on my game at the CGA Range on Thursday and it helped me. The main challenge was to read the green lines perfectly. The pin positions were altered a little as compared to Thursday and there was also some change in the speed of the ball on the greens. Once I was able to read that correctly, it helped my game,” shared Singh.
Eight-time Asian Tour winner, Jyoti Randhawa, carded a score of four-under-68 in the second round to rise from overnight tied-seventh to the third spot on Friday.
“Playing the Pro-Am helped me discover my swing. I was trying to be in a good rhythm. I made few putts and converted the ones that I had to. Yes, some bogeys came and it could have been better. But I am not complaining. The greens here are undulating and it is tough to make putts. I started off with a few birdies and I guess the ninth hole was the highlight for me today. My first shot was little right on the fairway and I hit with a six-iron to land the ball eight feet close to the pin. Sinking a birdie on the hole and having another birdie on the tenth hole helped me gain the momentum. I am ready for the challenge ahead in the last two rounds,” shared Randhawa.
Meanwhile, Jeev Milkha Singh missed the cut despite a recovery with a second round score of one-over 73. Over-night leader Shiv Kapur, who matched the course record with his 65 on Thursday, slipped to tied-10th as his second round effort of 75 took his total to four-under-140.