Atwal, Chowrasia best-placed Indians at Malaysian Open

Thursday, March 4, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Two-time champion Arjun Atwal was on a song at five-under through 11 holes, before running into double-bogeying, just before fading light forced stoppage of play in the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open golf here Friday.

At three-under for the tournament, he was provisionally 15th, the same as S.S.P. Chowrasia.

Also at three-under with seven holes to play, Chowrasia was even through 11 holes. Digvijay Singh was one-over 11 holes and two-under for the tournament, and Anirban Lahiri was fighting back at two-under through nine trying to make up for his 75 in first round.

Following a lightning storm, which stopped play for two hours and 20 minutes in the afternoon, 58 players failed to complete the second round and will return Saturday morning to finish their remaining holes. Atwal was among those who will come back to play his remaining five holes.

Thailands Kiradech Aphibarnrat held a one-shot lead, thanks to a sensational chip-in eagle. The former world junior champion jumped into pole position after negotiating 14 holes of his second round in five-under-par at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to lead the $2 million event on nine-under-par.

A shot back was Spaniard Alejandro Canizares, who was amongst those lucky enough to finish his round in 69 for a two-day total of eight-under-par 136.

Of the other Indians, Rahil Gangjee shot a 75 and was one-under for 36 holes, the same as Gaganjeet Bhullar (72-71) in tied 39th place. C. Muniyappa had finished his second round with the total at one-over (73-72) and Shiv Kapur was two-over (73-73), as was Himmat Rai (73-73). Jyoti Randhawa withdrew after his first round 77.

Asian Tour stalwart Angelo Que of the Philippines and Denmarks Soren Hansen were a further stroke back on 137 after returning identical 67s in the morning session.

Malaysian duo Danny Chia (71) and M. Sasidaran (73) continued to fly the Malaysian flag, lying on 142 in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour tournament.

Korean star K.J. Choi kept himself in the hunt for a second Malaysian title in five months where he is seven under for the tournament after playing 16 holes in two-under, which included an eagle two. Two-time Maybank Malaysian Open winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand was a further stroke back where he was even par through 16 holes as well.

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