PGTI Tour Release, 07 March 2019: India’s Rashid Khan powered ahead by two shots after firing a second round of six-under-66 at the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open 2019.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid, the overnight joint leader, took the sole lead at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club on Thursday as his total moved to 13-under-131 at the BDT 47.40 lakh (INR 40 lakh) event.
Indian teenager Kshitij Naveed Kaul too carded a 66 and as a result, moved into second place at 11-under-133.
Md Sajib Ali continued to be the highest-placed Bangladeshi golfer for the second day in succession. Sajib gained one spot courtesy a 69 to be tied fourth at eight-under 136 at the halfway stage.
Rashid Khan (65-66), who began the day one shot in front along with co-leader Yashas Chandra, didn’t have the best of starts as he stumbled with a bogey on the 13th after an early birdie on the 11th. However, he drained a 25-footer for birdie on the 14th to make amends.
A good recovery from the trees for par on the 16th seemed to lift the 28-year-old Khan’s confidence as he went on to collect birdies in quick succession on the 18th, second and fourth. Rashid landed his tee shot within a couple of feet of the cup on the second and followed that up with a terrific third shot from 100 yards out on the fourth that stopped a foot from the hole.
Khan, playing at BGCC for the first time, closed the round on a high, making birdies on the eighth and ninth, converting a 20-footer from off the green on the latter.
Rashid said, “It was an up and down day for me. I’m glad that I finished well with those birdies at the end. I was not feeling very comfortable at the start of the round as the wind kept switching. I was missing fairways by just a little bit at the start and as a result, had to then focus on placing it well.
“The birdie on the fourth was very crucial. It was my best birdie of the day as my near-perfect lob wedge shot from 100 yards set up a tap-in. On the last hole, I thought I’ll look for a two-putt for par from off the green but fortunately, my putt found the hole.
“I’ve never really had a good result in Bangladesh so far. So I’m eager to set the record straight this time around.”
Eighteen-year-old rookie Kshitij Naveed Kaul’s 66 propelled him from overnight tied fifth to second place. Kaul made an eagle-birdie start from the 10th to set the tone for the day. He drove it just short of the green on the 10th before chipping in for an eagle two. Another good drive and an excellent chip earned him a birdie on the 11th.
Kshitij then dropped a stroke on the 13th before rallying with four more birdies thereafter by landing it within four feet on all occasions.
India’s Honey Baisoya produced a second straight 67 to be placed third at 10-under-134.
Bangladesh’s Md Sajib Ali (69) shared fourth place with Indians Shamim Khan (68) and Mukesh Kumar (69) at eight-under 136.
Round one joint leader Yashas Chandra of India slipped to tied seventh at seven-under 137 after a round of 72.
Sri Lankan Anura Rohana, who struck a hole-in-one on the second during his round of 65, also took a share of seventh place along with India’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (68).
Defending champion N Thangaraja of Sri Lanka was in tied 22nd at three-under 141 while Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, one of Bangladesh’s top golfers, was tied 40th at one-over-145.
The cut went at two-over 146. Fifty-five professionals made the cut.