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Shamim Khan fires 68, seizes the lead in round two

Local lad Shankar Das and Abhijit Singh Chadha post day’s best score

Kolkata, November 29, 2012: Delhi’s Shamim Khan fired a four-under-68
to seize the round two lead at the McLeod Russel Tour Championship
2012 being played at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC). Shamim’s
total stands at six-under-138 at the halfway stage of the tournament.
Mukesh Kumar of Mhow shot a 71 on Thursday to be placed one stroke
behind the leader in second position.

Shamim Khan (70-68), who was overnight tied fifth, dropped a bogey
early on in his round after his tee shot found the rough on the third
hole. The 38-year-old, currently placed second on the Rolex Rankings,
soon turned the tide with eagle-birdie on the next two holes. Shamim
eagled the par-5 fourth after hitting the green in two shots and
subsequently converting the six feet putt. He then sank a 20-footer to
birdie the fifth.

Shamim, a three-time winner in the current PGTI season, conceded a
bogey on the sixth but came back fighting with a sublime effort on the
back-nine where he birdied the 13th, 16th and 17th. He sank a
monstrous 35-feet putt on the 13th and chipped-in from behind the
green on the 17th.

“I missed just two fairways today as I drove it really well. My
putting was also much better as compared to round one. I sank some
long putts. One has to be aggressive on this course since it is quite
long. Even though the fairways are narrow, using the irons instead of
a driver or 3-wood is not an option,” said Shamim.

He added, “The next two rounds are very crucial in the context of the
Rolex Rankings race as well. The difference between Rashid Khan and
myself is just over Rs. 11,000 in the rankings. If I finish even one
position ahead of him I would overtake him to become number one.”

Mukesh Kumar (68-71), the overnight leader, slipped to second position
on Thursday after returning a 71 that included five birdies and four
bogeys. His overall score reads five-under-139.

Local favourite Shankar Das’ five-under-67 was joint best score of the
day. It helped him climb from overnight tied 32nd to tied third.
Shankar’s super round featured seven birdies and two bogeys. He made
three straight birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th.

Shankar, a three-time winner on the PGTI, said, “I changed my putter
today. I was not feeling very comfortable with my old putter after
missing a lot of short putts in round one. The change had the desired
effect as I putted better today. I also played brilliantly on the
back-nine.”

Abhijit Singh Chadha of Chandigarh, who also shot a 67 in round two,
joined Das in tied third place at three-under-141. Chadha made six
birdies against a bogey on day two.

Jyoti Randhawa with four birdies and two bogeys in his round of 70 was
the third golfer in tied third position.

Kolkata’s SSP Chowrasia is a further shot back and shares the sixth
spot with Vijay Kumar of Lucknow and Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera.

Bangalore’s Anirban Lahiri and Rashid Khan of Delhi are joint ninth
with totals of one-under-143.

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