Arjun shoots 68 and moves up in Bangkok Airways golf

June 6th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Koh Samui (Thailand), June 6 (IANS) Arjun Singh trying to fight his way back into the upper ranks of the Asian Tour fired a three-under 68 under windy conditions to be the best placed Indian at the halfway mark of the Bangkok Airways Open at the Santiburi Samui Country Club here Friday. Arjun is now four-under 138 for 36 holes in 17th place. He is six behind leader Antonio Lascuna who shot a second successive 66 with birdies on last three holes to be 10-under 132 for two rounds.

He was one of the five Indians who made the cut from the nine who started the week. Also making the cut were young Himmat Rai, who added a second straight 71 to be even par at 46th place. Amandeep Johl (73), Gaurav Ghei (69) and Anirban Lahiri (75) were at two-over 144 in tied 62nd place right on the cut line.

Rahil Gangjee (79), Gaganjeet Bhullar (73), Digvijay Singh (75) and Firoz Ali (73), however missed the cut.

It was a good comeback by Ghei, the 2007 Pine Valley Beijing Open winner, whose first 75 put him in a precarious position. However young Lahiri floundered after the first round of 69 and just made it with a 75.

Lascuna rolled in three straight birdies in the last three holes for the second round lead. He conquered the greens with his second consecutive five-under-par 66 for a 10-under-par 132 total at the Santiburi Samui Country Club.

He took a one stroke advantage over opening round pace setter Chang Tse-peng who posted a 67 to lie in a tie for second place alongside compatriot Lin Chien-bing and Mars Pucay of the Philippines who both carded stunning 64s in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.

Chang had previously returned to course in the early morning to complete the opening round which was suspended due to darkness Thursday. He had taken the share of the opening round lead after a 66 and had joined Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, Yoshinobu Tsukada of Japan and Lascuna at the top of the leaderboard. A total of 37 players had returned on course to complete the first round.

But it was Lasuna who remained steady in the midway stage thanks to the guidance of compatriot Angelo Que.

“Once again, I’ve done exactly what I did yesterday and despite the course being windy today, it did not affect my performance in the second round. This is a great run and it all boils down to my putting. Even my approach shots were on target leaving me with putts within five feet.

“I competed with Angelo back home last week and noticed how he had gripped the putter. I followed his style and it’s proven to be the click to my game on the greens. The cross handed grip definitely works for me here,” admitted Lascuna, who is undergoing treatment to his left shoulder.

Japan’s Shintaro Kai and Chinese Taipei’s Lien Lu-sen carded matching 65s and rose to joint fifth position together with Filipino Juvic Pagunsan who recorded a 66 two strokes off the pace. Former Asian Tour number one Thaworn remained in contention after a 69 for a 135 total alongside England’s Chris Rodgers who posted a 67 to lie in a tie for eighth place together with Thailand’s Udorn Duangdecha who shot a 68.

A total of 76 players made the weekend rounds.

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