Coimbatore: Gurugram’s Manish Thakran carded a fiery six-under 66 that propelled him into the joint halfway lead along with Bengaluru’s Aryan Roopa Anand (68) and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja (68) at 10-under 134 at the Rs. 1 crore Coimbatore Open 2023 presented by KGiSL being played at the Coimbatore Golf Club.
Delhi-based Saptak Talwar was placed fourth at nine-under 135.
The cut was declared at three-over 147. Fifty-five professionals made the cut.
Manish Thakran (68-66), lying overnight tied fifth and two off the lead, was off to a flier on Wednesday with five birdies on his back-nine all coming as a result of some great wedge shots with four of them landing within three feet of the flag. The 27-year-old Manish then had a mixed front-nine as the wind picked up, collecting four birdies and three bogeys as he kept firing it in for tap-ins but also made a couple of three-putts.
Manish, who turned pro in 2021, said, “The last two days I hit my wedges really close and my putting stood out as I was quite consistent on the greens. I’m quite excited to be playing in the leader group for the first time.
“I missed the first half of the season due to a rib fracture. In fact, I couldn’t play any golf for three months due to my injury. When I began playing in June, I only played rounds and didn’t go to the range. That’s the routine I’ve always followed and I feel it helps me, playing on the course rather than spending time at the range. Coming back from injury, these first two rounds have been a huge morale-booster,” added Thakran, who plays at the Classic Golf Resort in Gurugram.
Rookie Aryan Roopa Anand (66-68) mixed six birdies with two bogeys to continue in the joint lead for the second day running. Aryan made a chip-in on the 13th and landed it within a foot on two occasions.
The 21-year-old Aryan said, “I missed some of my tee shots but they were on the correct side. I played smart and was not overly optimistic.”
N Thangaraja (66-68) also continued in the joint lead following his eagle on the ninth, four birdies and two bogeys. Thangaraja began and ended his round with chip-ins, the birdie on the 10th and eagle on the ninth.
Saptak Talwar, the overnight joint leader, shot a 69 on day two to drop down to fourth place.
Delhi’s Harshjeet Singh Sethie (67) was a further stroke behind in fifth place.
None of the Coimbatore-based players made the cut.
Round 2 Leaderboard:
134: Manish Thakran (68-66); Aryan Roopa Anand (66-68); N Thangaraja (66-68)
135: Saptak Talwar (66-69)
136: Harshjeet Singh Sethie (69-67)