Manila: Rahil Gangjee dropped two crucial bogeys in the last three holes but still moved into contention after a three-under 69 at the end of the second round of the Solaire Open in Manila on Friday.
Gangjee, trying to find his way back into the Asian Tour after missing his card in Web.com Tour, moved into the top-10 at tied ninth.
At 144 he was par for two rounds and only two shots behind the foursome leading the field at two-under in a low-scoring event at the Wack Wack course, which is proving to be tough for scoring.
Gangjee was one of the four Indians to make the cut, with Abhinav Lohan riding a birdie spree of four in a row from 15th to 18th. He carded 71 and totalled three-over 147 in tied 29th place. Sujjan Singh rallied from a first round 79 to card 71 in second and at six-over, he was tied 53rd.
Also making the cut was Himmat Rai, who shot 33 with five birdies and one double on front nine and then went to 43 on back nine.
He is tied 64th at seven-over. Missing the cut were Chiragh Kumar (72-78) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (76-81).
Chinese Taipei star Lin Wen-tang (73) was tied with Thai duo Thammanoon Sriroj (69) and Kwanchai Tannin (71) and Australia's Matt Jager (72) on two-under-par 142 after a blustery day.
Gangjee said, "I'm extremely happy. This golf course can get to you so you need to relax, stay calm and call upon all your experience so that you can prevail.
I'm not really surprised to be in contention but I’m glad. As I said, you have to hit the golf ball in the correct places and hit the drivers on the fairways."
He added, "My hitting has been good for the last couple of years. I have no complains at all. The putting is much better now. I've been working on my rhythm and stroke. In fact, Ashok Kumar was helping me last week and he has done a good job. My putter has been going a little bit out so I've been working on getting it a little bit squarer on the plane."
Gangjee agreed that the course was playing tough.
"Overall, you have to play really well here! This is only my second time playing at Wack Wack. All these years I've heard that it is treacherous and it has tough greens. Last year was the only year I came and I thought it wasn't that bad. But the course is definitely a challenge and I'm glad to be back."
Talented Korean Kim Gi-whan, Richard T Lee of Canada, Elmer Salvador of the Philippines and Pawin Ingkhapradit were a further shot back on 143 at the inaugural USD 300,000 Asian Tour event.
The Wack Wack East course bared its fangs on day two as only eight players head into the weekend rounds with under-par scores. Overnight leader Dodge Kemmer of the United States fell victim to the tough conditions as he posted 79 to slip to tied ninth.