Taipei: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri tore the course on his back nine to card a bogey-free six-under 66 in the second round to get into contention at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) here on Friday.
The leaders are Antonio Lascuna of the Philippines with rounds of 68 and 69 and Australian Cameron Smith (70-67) at seven-under. They were followed by Lien Lu-sen of Taipei (67-71) at six-under.
Lahiri, who carded 73 on opening round, was now five-under 139 and lying fourth alongside Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra, whose season in the US was patchy.
Chopra has now turned to Asian Tour to reverse his fortunes and after a first round 71, he added a 68 to move to five-under in tied fourth. Lahiri was the best Indian at the midway stage of the Yeangder TPC, which two years ago was won by another Indian, Gaganjeet Bhullar.
Among other Indians, Rashid Khan made a good move up with a second round 70 to follow up on his first round 71 to get to tied 13th at three-under 141.
Jyoti Randhawa had an interesting round. In a stretch of five holes between the third and seventh, he had one each of eagle, birdie, par, bogey and a double bogey. Overall he shot two-under 70 and is now one-under 143 to share tied 26th place alongside Rahil Gangjee, who slipped 15 places from 11th overnight after a second round 73.
Chiragh Kumar (72-73) was tied 45th, while Himmat Rai (77-70) and Sujjan Singh (78-70) missed the cut despite good second rounds.
Starting from the 10th tee, Lahiri was bogey free as a two-day total of five-under-par 139 put him in contention for a fifth Asian Tour victory at the USD 500,000 event at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Lahiri was delighted to continue his good form after finishing tied 13th at the Omega European Masters.
"My game came back in good shape on my back nine today. I've been waiting for this to happen as I was hitting the ball well since last week in Switzerland," said the 27-year-old Lahiri, who was overtaken by Lipsky on Order of Merit last week.
"I need to push myself harder to boost my rankings on the Order of Merit and on the world rankings. I have dropped quite a bit on the world rankings since my last victory in April. I have a lot of work to do for the rest of the season to get myself closer to Lipsky on the merit rankings," said Lahiri, who is ranked 98th in the world.
Chopra, winner of the 1995 Taiwan Open and 2001 Taiwan Masters, took advantage of the par fives but was disappointed not to share the clubhouse lead when he bogeyed the last.
"I made a few key putts and I gave myself good chances and birdied all the par-fives. I'm starting to get used to the course. It's going to be an exciting weekend," said Chopra.
Rashid Khan was not happy with the way he was hitting the ball in the second round.
"I didn't hit the ball well today actually. I only hit seven greens in regulation but my putting was really good today. Yesterday was the first time I was playing at this course because I didn't get to play any practice round. I'm happy with how I've played so far. Hopefully I can get better scores over the weekend."
He added, "It has been an amazing year for me since winning the first event of the season. I've got new opportunities to play in events, which I have never expected myself to get into, just like the Omega European Masters last week. It's good exposure for me because I can gain experience playing in such co-sanctioned events."
The surprise was Marcus Both who after a first round 67 shot 80 in second and missed the cut.