New Delhi: Chiragh Kumar continued his affair with the greens, bringing home a stunning five-under 67 in the second round to lead by three-strokes at the half-way stage of the USD 1.25 million Hero Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Club on Friday.

The par-5 holes served Chiragh well as he birdied all four of them on Friday beside picking up three more strokes against a couple of bogeys to take his two-day total to 13-under 131 on a day when big names in Jyoti Randhawa, Ashok Kumar, Shiv Kapur missed the cut, which was decided at one-over.

David Gleeson of Australia blasted a brilliant 66 to follow up his opening round of 68 to total 134 and lie at the second position.

Two strokes behind is Thailand's Chapchai Nirat who carded a 67 for an aggregate of eight-under 136.

One-stroke behind was the trio of Ross Bain (72), Scott Barr (70) and Young Nam (68) with a total of seven-under 137.

Chandigarh's Harendra Gupta brought home an improved card of six-under 66 to lie tied 7th with a total of 138, while Himmat Rai and SSP Chowrasia turned in matching 70s to lie five-under 139 for a tied ninth place along with overnight second Zaw Moe of Myanmar, who stumbled to a 74.

Defending champion Rikard Karlberg hit a two-over 74 for a total of one-under 143 to lie tied 36th, while world number 55 Edoardo Molinari scored 70 to lie tied 21 with a total of three-under 141 here.


Anirban Lahiri brought home an improved card of 69 to lie tied 27th on a day when 70 golfers made the cut.

Three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa (75), Ashok Kumar (77), Shiv Kapur (75) and Rashid Khan (73) along with many other Indians, including leading amateur S Chikkarangappa who had impressed on day one, missed the cut here.

A 2006 Asian Games team silver medallist, Chiragh had a good start, hitting birdies at 11th and 12th holes but a bogey at the next pulled him back a bit. He then hit a birdie-bogey patch at the 14th and 15th before making the turn at two-under with a birdie at the 18th hole.

On his resumption, the Delhi golfer picked up birdies at the first, seventh and eighth to round off another satisfying day at the Delhi Golf Club here.

"I really wasn't expecting much even today. I just stuck to the similar strategies and it did for me again today. Good thing is that I started off well and got the momentum going, held on to the greens and putted well," said Chiragh, who finished third at the Haryana Open to qualify for Barclay Singapore Open in November.

"I hit two bogeys at the 13th and 15th but they were more of silly mental errors and after that I settled down and hit four more birdies. The flags were in some inaccessible positions today compared to yesterday. But I am not complaining.

"I'm not thinking about any winning score, 15-under still seems to be a good target. But if the winds pick up, it can be tricky," he added.

(Agencies)