Champion Ghei misses cut, Gangjee 17th at Beijing Open

May 9th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, May 9 (IANS) Defending champion Gaurav Ghei crashed out of weekend action even as Rahil Gangjee leapt up from a borderline 59th to 17th with a fine four-under 68 at the Pine Valley Beijing Open Friday. While Gangjee (72-68) was the best among the Indian challengers at 17th place with an overall four under 140.

Digvijay Singh (72-72) was the only other Indian to make the cut, which came at even par 144. Amandeep Johl the fourth Indian in the fray missed the cut at 13 over with rounds of 77 and 80.

Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita grabbed the second round lead after a solid seven-under-par 65.

Gangjee’s second round effort saw him knock down birdies on the fifth, eighth, 11th, 16th and 18th. He also bogeyed the par three 12th.

Digvijay is currently tied 58th at even par 144. Digvijay’s play was marked by birdies on the 14th and ninth and bogeys on the second and third.

Ghei (73, 72) missed the cut by one stroke as he totaled one over 145 for the first two rounds. He finished the tournament in tied 70th place. Ghei sank birdies on the 13th, second and eighth and dropped bogeys on the 12th, first and sixth.

Fujita, 39, fired nine birdies against two dropped shots, at the Pine Valley Golf Club.

With a 12-under-par 132 total, Fujita gained a two-stroke advantage over 19-year-old Thai star Chinnarat Phadungsil who shot a 69. Chinese Taipei veteran Wang Ter-chang moved up to lone third place when he fired an impressive nine-under-par 63, which equalled Adam Scott’s course record in 2005.

Big-hitting Australian Scott Hend fired his second straight 68 to be in lone fourth place while former Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee shot a 66 to be in joint fifth spot alongside Australia’s Gary Simpson who improved with a 65.

Fujita, who won the 2003 Okinawa Open, stood tall at the top of the pack in the $1 million event which is co-sanctioned for the first time by the Japan Golf Tour alongside the Asian Tour and China Golf Association.

“I’m glad to see a strong relationship between the Japan Golf Tour and the Asian Tour and I hope to see more events like this in the future. It’s really exciting for the players to compete here under a mixed field,” said Fujita, who is a five-time winner on the local circuit.

Overnight joint leader Chinnarat, with two Asian Tour titles under his belt, will be hoping to take advantage of the par fives heading into the weekend rounds and notch his second win in China.

Asian Tour’s Wang was delighted to have recorded his best result in his professional golfing career when he blasted nine birdies on the way to a 63 Friday.

Japan’s Katsunori Kuwabara will be eager to end his 10-year drought this week as he trailed the leader by five strokes after a 69 in a tie for fifth place.

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