Chowrasia returns to form, grabs lead at Thailand Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> A brand new putter helped SSP Chowrasia regain lost form as he carded a eight-under 62 to grab the sole lead after the second round of the Thailand Open.

Updated: March 06, 2009 12:10 IST
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A brand new putter helped SSP Chowrasia regain lost form as he carded the day's best card -a blemishfree eight-under 62- to grab the sole lead after the second round of the Singha Thailand Open here on Friday.

The Kolkata-pro, who has been struggling ever since his European Tour's Indian Masters triumph last year, needed only 25 putts at the par-70 Laguna Phuket Golf Club to top the leaderboard.

At 12-under 128, Chowrasia was a shot ahead of Welshman Rhys Davies, who shot a hole-in-one en route to a 64 in the $500,000 Tour event.

The third place was taken by Gaganjeet Bhullar, who carded a 66 to total 10-under 129 after two days. Chowrasia attributed today's sensational round, that included eight birdies, to his new putter.

"It was a very good round. I've been practising my putting a lot. It was very bad the last few weeks and I put in a lot of work on it. It's coming good. I also put in a new putter in the bag, got it last week," he said.

"The old putter was a bit shut and this new one has a loft which is two or three degrees more open. I was missing a lot of putts left before and I checked last week and changed it. It's better now," he added.

Chowrasia's round included a superb birdie on the eighth hole, his penultimate of the day when he holed a wedge shot from 110 yards after finding trouble in the trees. "It was good to get the birdie as I was struggling for par," said Chowrasia.

"My putting is coming back and I'm driving it well. I'm confident of playing well this weekend," he added. Among the other Indians, Anirban Lahiri was tied for the 19th spot after a 67 in the second round left him five-under overall.

Seasoned pro Jyoti Randhawa (68), Digvijay Singh (73), Amandeep Johl (69) and Indian-born Swede Daniel Chopra (69) were huddled for the tied 31st spot with totals of four-under 136.

Further down the leaderboard was Shiv Kapur, whose 68 today left him three-under 137 in total. He shared the spot with among others Himmat Rai (73).

Veteran Gaurav Ghei (70), C Munniyappa (72), Arjun Singh (73), Rahil Gangjee (76) and Chiragh Kumar (74) failed to make the weekend cut which came at one-over.

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