Bogey-free 69 offers fresh hope for SSP Chawrasia, James Morrison leads KLM Open

Needing a good round of golf, SSP Chawrasia produced a determined 69 without a blemish on the card. James Morrison climbed into the lead on a 67 in the KLM Open

golf player shot 70 in the first round of the Italian Open

13 September 2019: SSP Chawrasia is a four-time winner on the European Tour. The man with the magic touch has been working through his European Tour schedule with a monk’s perseverance despite some disappointing results on the road in recent weeks. After an opening-round 74 in the KLM Open, Chawrasia was staring down the barrel of another missed weekend.

If he ever needed a good round, it was nearly every day of the golf week, this entire wretched season. Under the circumstances, Chawrasia would have been greatly relieved to find a spotless 69 on Friday to climb inside the projected cut line in the centennial edition of this tournament.

The 41-year-old from Kolkata marched through the front nine without damage, punctuating his smooth run with a birdie on the sixth hole. Chawrasia cushioned his card with birdies at the 11th and 13th before coasting home without a blemish on his card, moving to one-under through 36 holes.

Meanwhile, Shubhankar Sharma, working off a 70 in the opening round, moved to five-under with three birdies on the front nine.

SSP Chawrasia golf player is in the final season of his full exemption earned from his exploits in the Hero Indian Open. He has only made five cuts in 19 events this year, with his best result a T18 at the Made In Denmark in May.

His ranking has slipped to 1074 and at 187 in the Race to Dubai, the need for some good results cannot be emphasised enough for the embattled Indian. The round today might be exactly what the doctor ordered for Chawrasia as he looks to sail through some heavy currents.

After missing five straight cuts, this round could turn out to be a blessing and a massive boost to his flagging confidence. If he can sustain the momentum through moving day, Chawrasia could set himself up for a good finish and some valuable points.

As things stand at the time of this report, Chawrasia is sitting just above the cut line. Irrespective of the final outcome later in the day, this is a round that should afford Chawrasia much-needed respite.

At nine-under through 36 holes, James Morrison has the clubhouse lead, on the back of 67 in the second round. Overnight leader Callum Shinkwin is one back midway through his round.