Sandhu lies at 3rd, Jeev moves to T-6 at Panasonic Open India

Ajeetesh Sandhu. (Getty Images)Ajeetesh Sandhu. (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: Indian golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu shot a second successive five-under 67 to stay one shot off the lead at the $400,000 Panasonic Open India on Friday.

Overnight leader Suradit Yongcharoenchai (66-67) from Thailand and Bangladesh's seasoned star Siddikur Rahman (67-66) shared the halfway lead at 11-under 133.

Sandhu, one of the seven players Tied-2nd a year ago, is now 10-under and sole third.

The scoreboard continued to have a liberal sprinkling of the Indian tricolour as half of the Top-14 players were home stars and just over a half, 38 out of 74 making the cut were home golfers. The cut fell at 2-over 146.

Rashid Khan (68-68) was fifth, while veteran Jeev Milkha Singh, who has made just two cuts in 15 starts in 2018 and has just one Top-5 finish since his win in 2012 Scottish Open, was T-6th with M Dharma (70-67) and four others.

One shot behind them in T-12 place were 53-year-old Mukesh Kumar (71-67), the 2016 Panasonic Open India champion; 23-year-old Aman Raj (70-68) and 17-year-old debutant pro Kshitij Naveed Kaul, indicating India's growing depth in golf.

Defending champion Shiv Kapur scored a second successive 70 to lie tied 21.

Suradit, searching for his maiden Asian Tour win to coincide with his 20th birthday on Sunday, carded a bogey-free 67, while Siddikur had eight birdies and two bogeys for the day's best card of 66.

Interestingly, two Indian youngsters, both making their debut this week, Kaul and Yuvraj Sandhu also shot 66s, but with contrasting fortunes.

Kaul (72-66) made the cut on his debut and was T-12 but Yuvraj, despite fighting back from his first round 81 with a 66 for a 15-shot swing, missed the cut by one. Also missing the cut was debutant Aadil Bedi (77-74).

Sandhu, who won his only Asian Tour title at Yeangder TPC last year, said, "At DGC one has to create opportunities by hitting maximum fairways. The par-5s also provide scoring opportunities if you play them well. The key moment today was the birdie on the 11th.

"After starting with a bogey on the 10th, I came back well with the birdie on the next hole and that actually helped me settle down and find my rhythm."

Suradit, who opened his campaign with a solid 66, returned with a flawless round 67 highlighted by five birdies.

Suradit is chasing his maiden victory on the region's premier Tour. Prior to this week, he has claimed two top-five finishes, including a joint runner-up result in India at Take Solutions Masters in August.

Siddikur, on the other hand, is looking for his second title at the DGC after the Hero Indian Open in 2013. He has never finished outside Top-5 in his four previous starts at the Panasonic Open India from 2011 to 2014.

Jeev rolled the clock back with 69-68 and is Tied-4th.


"It's been a long time since I was interviewed, so it feels great. I am not sure when I last played so well and confidently. I was patient and I managed to hole a few putts coming in.


"I started from the back nine, made on birdie on the 17th where I holed a 10-footer. Made the turn at one-under and birdied the fourth hole from about 20 feet.


"On the seventh hole, I hit a good seven-iron shot to about 15 feet and holed that as well. Went on the birdie the eighth after chipping to about six feet and made that putt. Bogey-free 68, I am very pleased with myself."


Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond, who has played numerous rounds with Sandhu this season, had a matching 67, but is sole fourth.
Cras eget sem nec dui volutpat ultrices.
Cras eget sem nec dui volutpat ultrices.

Lost Password

Register