Delhi, November 7 - Wade Ormsby signalled his strong intentions to retain the Panasonic Open India title after shooting a four-under-par 68 to grab the second round clubhouse lead on Friday.
The Australian rolled in five birdies for an eight-under-par 136 total to lead by one-shot over talented Sri Lankan Mithun Perera, who shot a 67, Terry Pilkadaris (68) of Australia and Indian amateur Pratap Atwal (68) at the Delhi Golf Club.
Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand produced six birdies but three putted on his closing ninth hole for double bogey. He finished with a 68 on 138 to tie for sixth place with Rashid Khan of India, who returned with a 70.
“I’m hitting the ball a lot of better than last year and that takes a lot of pressure off you when you play on this course,” said Ormsby, who won his first title at the 2013 Panasonic Open India after playing in over 200 professional tournaments.
After shooting a second straight 68, Ormsby believes a hot putter on the weekend will put him right on track to become the second player to defend a title on the Asian Tour this year.
“I’m hitting the ball a lot of better than last year and that takes a lot of pressure off you when you play on this course. If I can putt better than I will be in pretty good shape. I just can’t predict the speed of the greens but that’s okay. I’m going to work on that and I should be okay for the weekend,” he said.
A confident Mithun, the son of Nandasena, a famous name on the old Asian circuit during the 1980s and 1990s, was delighted to be in contention for a first Asian Tour win on his favorite course.
“Once I come to this golf course, I have a lot of confidence because this is a golf course which I like playing on. When I play here, I play without any worry and maybe that’s why I always do well here,” said Perera.
No less than three Indonesians will play during the weekend, as George Gandranata (72), Rory Hie (70) and Rinaldi Adiyandono (73) all made the cut. They are currently in 24th, 32nd and 62nd place respectively. Only William Sjaichudin (74) didn't make the cut, as he finishing at 7-over 151.
Scores after Round 2 (Par 72):
134 - Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 66-68
136 - Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 68-68
137 - Mithun PERERA (SRI) 70-67, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 69-68, Pratap ATWAL (A) (IND) 69-68, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 70-67
138 - Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 70-68, Rashid KHAN (IND) 68-70, Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 73-65
139 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-70, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 73-66
143 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 71-72
144 - Rory HIE (INA) 74-70
149 - Rinaldi ADIYANDONO (INA) 76-73
151 - William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 77-74