Chonburi, Thailand: Four Indians made the cut even as Sweden's Daniel Chopra added a second straight five-under 67 to get to 10-under and was sole second at the midway stage of the Thailand Golf Championships at the Amata Springs Golf Course here Friday.
The man in front of Chopra was Charl Schwartzel, who was on fire with a second successive 65, despite confessing that he was tired at the start of the week. He was four clear of Chopra.
Only four of the 11 Indians who started will make the cut, though 25 players are yet to complete the second round.
Almost 90 minutes of play was lost on account of rain and thunderstorm in the morning and that led to poor light coming in the way of second round being completed.
While Chopra was lying second, the four Indians making the weekend action were Anirban Lahiri (70-69) at tied ninth, Ajeetesh Sandhu (70-73) at tie 35th, Shiv Kapur (73-71) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (71-73) at tied 53rd.
With the cut likely at par or at best one-over, Indians missing the cut would be Jyoti Randhawa (69-77), Chiragh Kumar (73-73), Shankar Das (76-72), Himmat (74-73), Digvijay Singh (74-76), SSP Chowrasia (76-80) and Gaurav Ghei, who was 10-over with three more holes to play.
With the cut line expected to be either at par or one-over, Randhawa and Chiragh blew it right at the end of their second round.
Randhawa, the best Indian after first round at three-under 69, had a rocky day with three bogeys in first four holes. He recovered with birdies on seventh and 11th, but he bogeyed the 13th and 14th and the last straw was the double bogeye on the 17th, which has an Island green and he ended at two-over 146, as did Chiragh.
Chiragh was even par through 15 holes on second day, but bogeys on seventh and ninth, two of his last three holes, ended his campaign.
Shankar Das had a dream start with a eagle two and birdie on his first holes from the tenth, but three other bogeys and no more birdies meant he ended at 72 and his first round 76 spelt disaster for him.
Masanori Kobayishi (68-67) was lying third with local man, Thitiphun Chuayprakong, who was also at nine-under but will come back for three more holes.
Lahiri, carrying happy memories of his visit earlier in the year when he won the IFQ Asia Qualifying, said, "It has been quite solid. I like this course. I came out here earlier in the year for the IFQ Asia Qualifying and won.
"I feel comfortable here but I came out today to a nervous start when I bogeyed the 10th hole which is playing pretty easy. After that I came back really solid. I hit every green except the last hole. Luckily I made a good putt for par."
The rain suspension quite clearly did not bother him, as he added, "I got time to put some food in my system. I think it (suspension) is something we have got used to play on the Asian Tour."
Chopra said he wasn't feeling jet-lagged despite flying in straight from the US, where he missed out on making the PGA card in Qualifying School.
"I came straight from the US, but I'm not feeling jet-lagged. I'm afraid that I might, but I'm good so far. I've had two beautiful sleeps at night and I've woken up both mornings very refreshed and I have not been tired at all during the day.
"The 12-hour time changes are not that difficult. It's the three-, four-, five-hour time changes that you have to deal with that are tough."
He added, "I wasn't quite sure how my body was going to react with the jet-lag and all that, but I woke up just before my alarm and came out here and warmed up in the dark and off I went. I birdied the first hole and it was easy after that."
Though he has not been getting the results he deserves, Chopra said, "I've been playing well. I've been playing beautifully the last two, three months. So if anything, my putter had not been really producing the way it normally does, and these first two days I guess coming back to Asia brings out the best in my putter."
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