Rory Hie continues in the lead after a steady 69 at Gurugram Challenge

Harpal Singh Bedi

Rory Hie

Nuh, Haryana: Indonesia’s Rory Hie continued in the lead following a steady second round of three-under 69 at the Gurugram Challenge at Classic Golf & Country Club here Wednesday 30 March 2022.

The 33-year-old Rory (63-69), who led the first round  by two shots, now leads by one stroke at a total of 12-under 132.

American Dodge Kemmer (67-66) shot a 66 to be placed tied second at 11-under 133 along with Thailand’s Chanat Sakulpolaphaisan (66-67) who returned a 67 on day two of the US$75,000 PGTI and Asian Development Tour (ADT) joint sanctioned event.

Manu Gandas and Abhijit Singh Chadha carded scores of 66 to be the best-placed Indians in tied fourth at a total of 10-under 134 along with Benjamin Follett-Smith of Zimbabwe and Ira Alido of the Philippines.

Pawan Kumar fired the day’s best score, a sizzling nine-under 63, to move up 55 spots to tied eighth place at nine-under 135.

The halfway cut fell at three-under 141. Sixty-one professionals made the cut including 40 Indians.

Rory Hie had a poor start as he dropped bogeys on his first two holes, the 10th and 11th. However, his chipping and bunker shots got him back in the game as he collected six birdies thereafter at the cost of just one more bogey.

Rory said, “I’m glad that I was able to turn it around and salvage my round after a bad start. I was happy to end my round with two birdies on the last three holes. My best birdie was on the seventh where I hit a terrific drive and made a long putt.

Dodge Kemmer, lying overnight tied eighth and four off the lead, too had a slow start with a bogey on the first hole. Kemmer, an Asian Tour regular, then began reading his putts well as he birdied the seventh and ninth before getting on a run with four consecutive birdies from the 11th through the 14th. He added two more birdies and a bogey on the last three holes.

Chanat Sakulpolaphaisan chipped-in for eagle on the 18th during his round of 67 that kept him in contention.

Abhijit Singh Chadha made five straight birdies during his round of 66. Manu Gandas, who also fired a 66 to share fourth place with Chadha and two others, made a long eagle putt from just off the green on the third.

Pawan Kumar

Pawan Kumar attributed his top-notch effort of 63 to his much improved hitting and chipping. Pawan had two tap-in birdies on Wednesday and landed it within five feet on four other occasions. The 37-year-old, who made 17 greens in regulation on day two, closed his round in style with a chip-in for eagle on the 18th.

Karandeep Kochhar, also sharing eighth place, had an incredible run of six consecutive birdies during his round of 64 while  Rashid Khan was in tied 24th place at six-under 138 following his 71 on Wednesday.


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