Bangalore: In what may be a record of sorts, no less than five amateurs made the halfway cut at the Hero Indian Open golf tournament currently underway at the KGA here.
Led by S Chikkrangrappa (72-68), four others Udayan Mane (73-69), Khalin Joshi (72-71), Angad Cheema (72-71) and Honey Baisoya (69-75) made the cut which fell at three-over 145.
As many as 21 Indian professionals made the cut and a total of 81 players, including amateurs, will play the weekend rounds. Interestingly none of the amateurs made the cut at the Indian Open last year.
Chikka, Mane and Khalin are locals boys, who have played a lot at this course over their young careers. Chikka won the All India Amateurs at this venue two years ago, while Khalin Joshi erased the long-standing course of eight-under 64 held by Jyoti Randhawa by shooting a 10-under 62.
The course was played to par-72 till before this competition. It has been reduced to par-71 after the first hole was converted from par-4 to par-3 for the Indian Open.
"I have played at this course so often and I love it. Playing with the pros is always a great experience and doing so in a big event like this at home has boosted my confidence," said Chikka.
Chikka missed the cut last year at Delhi Golf Club after shooting 70 in the first round but ballooned to 85 in the second round.
Joshi on the eve of the tournament had said, "This is a great experience to be given a chance to play alongside the best pros in Asia and elsewhere."
Cheema recently represented India at the Eisenhower Cup alongside Chikka and Khalin. Delhi's Honey Baisoya is considered among the most talented youngsters in India.
At least two of the five, Chikka and Khalin, plan to turn pro somewhere before the next season and they could well play at the Qualifying School of the Asian Tour later this year and also make an appearance at the Q-School for the Indian Tour.