Vooty Masters golf: Chouhan matches course record of 63 to zoom to top at halfway stage

Vikarabad (Telangana), Nov 25 (IANS): Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, matched Manu Gandas’ course record of nine-under 63 from round one to gain three spots and zoom into a two-shot lead at a total of 15-under 129 after round two of the inaugural Vooty Masters, here on Friday.

Gurugram-based Manu Gandas, the first-round leader, slipped into second place at 13-under 131 after posting a 68 on day two of the Rs. 1 crore event being played at the Vooty Golf County here.

Chandigarh’s Angad Cheema (67), who was overnight tied second, ended the second round in third place at 12-under 132.

The cut came down at one-under 143. Fifty professionals and one amateur made the cut to make it to the money rounds over the weekend.

Om Prakash Chouhan (66-63) had early jitters as he saved par from the bunker on the 10th, his first hole of the day. The 36-year-old, who is a seven-time winner on the PGTI, then made his first move of the day with a 15-feet eagle conversion on the 12th.

Chouhan built on the momentum with his birdie on the 15th where he drove the par-4 green. Another good par save from the bunker followed on the 16th before he picked up a birdie on the 18th.

Chouhan, a winner on the PGTI this year and currently placed sixth on the PGTI Order of Merit, enjoyed an even better back-nine picking up five birdies including three where he made some terrific ups and downs from the bunker.

Chouhan said, “Every aspect of my game was sharper today as compared to round one, especially my second shots and bunker shots. I changed my driver and 3-wood last week as I felt that I wasn’t hitting it that well. The new clubs have helped me improve both my distance and accuracy off the tee.

“I felt the rhythm after the good par-save on the 10th. Then the 15-foot eagle conversion on the 12th got my putter going. This is a new golf course for all the players including myself so I utilised the practice round and the Pro-Am round before the event really well. That eventually helped me a lot in planning my game.”

Manu Gandas (63-68), who set the course record of 63 on day one, had an off day with his approach shots despite putting together six birds in exchange for a double-bogey. The double-bogey on the 16th in the first half of Manu Gandas’ round altered the momentum for him after he had picked up two birdies on his first six holes.

Noida’s Gaurav Pratap Singh (65) was placed fourth at 10-under 134. PGTI Order of Merit leader and the five-time winner this season Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (71), was tied 12th at six-under 138.

Ajeetesh Sandhu (69), one of the pre-event favourites, was tied 17th at five-under 139.

Fifteen-year-old Noida-based player Aarav D Shah, an Australian national, was the lone amateur to make the cut as he totalled one under 143 to be tied 40th.

All the local players from Hyderabad missed the cut.

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