India’s Khalin Joshi struggled with his putter and slipped to 2 of 74 on day two but remained two strokes off the lead at the Singapore International’s halfway point here on Friday.
Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan caused a sensation on the 18th par five from 626 yards to take the lead after the second round. At 73-66, he was five under 139, two strokes ahead of Joshi and Ratchanon Chantananuwat (75-66), the 14-year-old Thai amateur golf sensation.
The million-dollar tournament is the penultimate event of the Asian Tour’s 2020-21 season.
On another tough day in strong winds at a demanding Tampines course, eight of 15 Indians teeing off at the event made it through the 36-hole cut, which fell to 7-overs.
Other Indians making the cut were S Chikkarangappa (75-70) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (70-75) at T-7; Shubhankar Sharma (73-75) and Viraj Madappa (77-71) at T-20; Shiv Kapur (79-72), Rashid Khan (75-76) and Abhijit Chadha (72-79) at T-54.
The Indians missing the cut were M Dharma (81-73); Karandeep Kochhar (77-78), Veer Ahlawat (78-77); Chowrasia Unit (77-79); Udayan Mane (74-83), Jeev Milkha Singh (78-80) and Jyoti Randhawa (79-79).
Joshi said: “It wasn’t a good day on the greens for me. I struggled with the putter but overall I’m happy with the way I’m playing.
“Obviously it was tough out there. It’s not going to be easy. The winds were up. I felt like I should have capitalized earlier in the day because there weren’t as many windier than now. But overall I’m in a good position and I’m looking forward to the next two days.” S Chikkarangappa and Ajeetesh Sandhu fought at 70 and 75 and were in the Top 10 of the leaderboard.
Shubhankar Sharma suffered a double bogey and two more bogeys against a single birdie on the 18th, while Viraj Madappa, who like Joshi and Sandhu is seeking his second win on the Asian Tour, birdied four of his nine first and three bogeys on the back nine. the Tana Merah course.
Rattanon diverted Ratchanon’s attention with its shiny finish.
“The 18th was playing downwind. My second shot was with a three wood, it was a low cut. I was just hoping for a good shot, and he ended up 10 feet away. It was a bit but luck” , said Rattanon, whose only win on the Asian circuit came at the 2018 Thailand Open.
Ratchanon, who is competing in his first professional event overseas, fired 75 rounds yesterday and complained of not feeling well, but was delighted to be back in contention today with a round that saw him hitting all 14 fairways despite the wind.
Filipino Angelo Que and Paul Peterson of the United States returned rounds of 71 and 73 respectively to sit one under for the tournament.
Defending Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand finished in solitary possession in sixth place par after a 73.