Siem Reap (Cambodia), Nov 20 (Inditop.com) Indian golfer Shiv Kapur in his bid to retain his Asian Tour card put himself in a position to end his four-year title drought with a five-under 67 that put him shared second place at the midway stage of the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open here Friday.
Kapur was seven-under 137 for 36 holes and two behind Welshman Craig Smith, who is looking for his maiden Asian Tour win. Smith, one of the tallest professionals on any international Tour at six-foot-eight opened up a two-stroke halfway advantage after firing a sizzling six-under-par 66 for a two-day total of nine-under-par 135 at the $300,000 full field Asian Tour event.
The other three Indians also made the cut. Vikrant Chopra, the best Indian after the first round, added a 71 to his first 69 to be tied 13th at four-under 140. Anirban Lahiri after two birdies in first three holes tapered off and finished with a 71 that put him in tied 15th place at three-under 141. Rahil Gangjee shot an even par 72 to be two-under 142 in tied 23rd place.
Kapur, currently in 69th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, charged into contention with a superb 67. He made the turn in 35 before adding a birdie on the 10th hole and then closed strongly with three consecutive birdies, including a 20-footer at his last.
“All in all, it was a frustrating day because I hit it close to the flag but couldn’t buy a putt. The way I struck the ball I should be at least 12 or 13-under. Luckily for me, I ended with three birdies and that turned an average day into a good day,” said Kapur.
“The greens are pretty tough here but fair. My putting has let me down and if I can get my putter hot during the weekend I should have a good chance,” added Kapur, who is looking to add a second title to the Volvo Masters of Asia he won in his rookie year in 2005.
Kapur, Filipino Artemio Murakami and Thailand’s Annop Tangkamolprasert are two strokes behind at the Phokeethra Country Club.
Overnight leader David Gleeson of Australia, Malaysia’s Shaaban Hussain, Will Yanagisawa of the US and Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand are among the players in tied fifth position, three behind the leader.
A total of 74 players made the cut which was set at two-over-par 146.