Hong Kong: Indian golfer SSP Chowrasia shot a five-under 65 to move to tied fifth place at the midway stage of the Hong Kong Open on Friday.
Chowrasia, whose last Asian and European Tour win came in 2011, is now tied alongside Jyoti Randhawa, the overnight leader.
Randhawa, who had a 64 in first round, shot an even par 70. Both Chowrasia, who shot 69 in the first round, and Randhawa are now six-under 134 and only three off the leader,
Shiv Kapur (68-68) and Rahil Gangjee (68-68) were the only other Indians making the cut and they were tied 27th.
The big surprise was Anirban Lahiri (75-68) missing the cut, which fell at one-under 139. Also missing out were Chiragh Kumar (71-71), Jeev Milkha Singh (73-71), Himmat Rai (74-70), Rashid Khan (73-73) and Sujjan Singh (75-72).
Chowrasia said, "I played really, really very good. I just had a few putts, long putts and it's really very nice. I played very good yesterday also but just a few putts missed. It's nice weather, nice and sunny here. Not very warm like Singapore, Malaysia. So it's really nice."
"Yeah, I'm quite happy for my game. And I'm looking forward the next two days. I am always positive, whenever I played bad or good, I'm always thinking positive."
He felt the winning score would be around 15 under or something.
Ernie Els celebrated his 45th birthday by cruising to the top of the leaderboard after a second round 65 at the Hong Kong Golf club. The South African moved to nine under and into a two stroke lead over Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and the Australian duo of Scott Hend and Cameron Smith.
Els, making his first appearance in Hong Kong Open, began his second round on the 11th hole and in typically effortless style moved through the gears to birdie six of his first 11 holes to surge ahead of the field.
At that point, Els was producing a vintage performance but saw his momentum crash to a halt after a poor decision to attempt to drive the fourth green which resulted in a sloppy bogey.
"The fourth hole was a bit of a bummer - a bit of a mental error on my part because I probably did not need to go for it - but I feel like my game's right there," said Els, who opened the week with a four under 66 on Thursday.