Golfer Shiv second at Panasonic Open

Chiba (Japan), April 22 (IANS) India’s Shiv Kapur hit four-under 67 to trail leader Kodai Ichihara of Japan by a stroke after the second round of the Panasonic Open Golf Championship here on Friday.

Shiv, who was tied ninth following a 68 in the opening round, overcame the blustery afternoon conditions by trading six birdies (third, sixth, seventh, 10th, 11th, 14th) against two bogeys (eighth and 17th).

He got a total of seven-under 135 — one behind Ichihara, who fired a sparkling 65 at the Chiba Country Club, Umesato course.

Japan’s Azuma Yano was a further shot back in third place following a 69 while Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei, also searching for a first win, registered a 67 to sit in fourth place on 137, three shots back from the leader.

Shiv is chasing for his first silverware since winning the 2005 Volvo Masters of Asia in Thailand and earning the Rookie of the Year award in the same season.

“All the credit goes to the wife. I can’t deny that. Ever since I got engaged, I’ve been playing well,” laughed the 34-year-old, who married his wife Maya on the holiday isle of Bali on April 3.

“It was pretty good with the way the wind was blowing. It was tough to pick where the wind was coming from but I hope the conditions stay like this during the weekend. I’ve been playing in Europe for the last 10 years and I have the experience to play in a lot of wind,” he said.

Among other Indians in the fray, Rahil Gangjee, who was tied 13th after the first round of 69, dropped to the 37th spot following an one-over 73.

Veteran Jeev Milkha Singh was lucky to make the halfway cut which fell at two-over 144. The 44-year-old was tied 61st.

Jyoti Randhawa (74), Gaganjeet Bhullar (73), Chiragh Kumar (72) and Himmat Rai (74) missed the cut.

A total of 78 players made it to the weekend round at the 150 million Yen (approximately $1.27 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

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