Reigning champion Yuvraj Singh Sandhu of Chandigarh maintained his one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Masters 2022 after he returned a determined two-under 70 here at the Digboi Golf Links on Thursday.
Greater Noida's Arjun Sharma struck a 68 in round two to be placed second. Sri Lankan Anura Rohana (71) occupied the third place at nine-under 135 while Mysuru's Aalaap I L (68) was in fourth place at eight-under 136. The halfway cut went at one over 145. Fifty-eight professionals made the cut.
PGTI Order of Merit leader Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (63-70), a 10th tee starter on Thursday, made yet another promising start with an early birdie on the 12th but then stumbled with a bogey on the 13th where he found the hazard and a double-bogey on the 14th where his ball was plugged in the bunker behind a tree.
Sandhu, a four-time winner on the PGTI this year, finally bounced back with a birdie on the 15th and a solid front-nine where he made an 18-footer for eagle on the seventh and another birdie on the ninth after recovering from the bunker.
Yuvraj said, "When I started off today the body was a little colder so I was struggling with my ball striking. Importantly, I hung in there today. I'll now try to get plenty of rest after today's round in order to recover fully for the last two rounds."
"The eagle putt on the seventh was a savior and the finishing birdie on the ninth was also a confidence booster. I do feel comfortable with this course based on my experience from last year. It's easy to find trouble here but one should know which side to miss the green, " added Yuvraj Singh Sandhu.
Arjun Sharma (66-68), a runner-up on the PGTI this year, had a terrific back-nine where he sank an eagle and three birdies to stake a claim for the lead. Arjun drove the par-4 14th green to set up an eagle-two as he drained a 15-footer there. He also set up tap-in birdies on the 13th and 17th.
Sharma's putter then went cold on the front nine as he missed a few putts and as a result dropped a bogey on the first and couldn't convert some birdie opportunities on other holes. Arjun also bogeyed the seventh where his drive landed in the hazard.
Arjun said, "I've played the tougher back-nine better on both days. I feel the front-nine is relatively easier but I haven't been able to capitalize on it so far, something I need to do over the next two days."
Among the prominent names, Udayan Mane and Manu Gandas were tied for 11th at five under 139 while Khalin Joshi was tied for 25th at three under 141.
Among the local professionals, Dulal Kalowar was the only player to make the cut as he totaled one over 145 to be tied for 49th.(ANI)