Scintillating Ashok Kumar soares to four-shot lead
Aamby Valley Mumbai, May 12 (UNI) A sizzling Ashok Kumar moved closer towards a dream victory at the inaugural Aamby Valley Asian Masters with a masterful six-under 66 that saw him open up a four-shot lead on 11-under 133 at the halfway stage of the 400,000 dollar Asian Tour event.
It was nearly the best of starts from the 10th as Ashok, who started life as a caddie, knocked an eight iron onto the par-three that hit the flag and stopped a foot from the cup for an opening birdie even though he missed out on a Chevrolet car as the hole-in-prize.
Crisp iron play gave him numerous birdie chances and he converted three more birdies on his outward nine on the 11th, 14th and 15th before running up three straight birdies from the par-five third, which he missed an eagle from six feet.
Former Indian Open winner Firoz Ali ensured a strong local presence on the leaderboard, placing equal third on 140 after a 73 which left him tied with England's Simon Griffiths, who carded 72.
Firoz Ali gave himself a shot of a good payday this weekend but was let down by a cold putter and he enters the third round seven shots off the lead.
The halfway cut was set at 148 with 67 players qualifying into the last two rounds.
Among other Indians in the fray, Rahil Gangjee (142), Gaurav Ghei (143), Rahul Ganapathy (143), Mukesh Kumar (143), Ranjit Singh (144), SSP Chowrasia (144), Uttam Singh Mundy (144), Jumman (145), Ali Sher (145),Gurbaaz Mann (145), Harinder Gupta (146), Amandeep Johl (146), D S Raghuvanshi (147), Vikrant Chopra (147), Binod Pandey (148), Shahid Javed Khan (148), C Muniyappa (148), Shiv Prakash (148) and Digvijay Singh also made the cut.
Leading second round scores: 133 - Ashok Kumar (IND) 137 - Simon Hurd (ENG) 140 - Simon Griffiths (ENG), Firoz Ali (IND) 141 - Marcus Both (AUS), Bryan Saltus (USA), Jarrod Moseley (AUS), Hendrik Buhrmann (RSA) 142 - Corey Harris (USA), Rahil Gangjee (IND), Barry Hume (SCO), Martin Rominger (SUI), Garth Mulroy (RSA) 143 - Gaurav Ghei (IND), Simon Nash (AUS), Rahul Ganapathy (IND), Airil Rizman Zahari (MAS), Terry Pilkadaris (AUS), Kevin Chun (NZL), Keith Horne (RSA), Mukesh Kumar (IND), Pat Giles (AUS), Olle Nordberg (SWE), Jason King (AUS), Yasin Ali (ENG), Kane Webber (AUS) UNI XC AY DH RS1950