Anirban Lahiri, Sujjan Singh keep Indian challenge going at Thailand Golf Championship
Anirban Lahiri's flawless round included six birdies and an eagle, while Sergio Garcia had five birdies and an ace with no bogeys and Rose landed an eagle and three birdies against one bogey.
Anirban Lahiri blasted his way to the day's best card of eight-under 64 to rocket to tied third position behind Spanish star Sergio Garcia (65) and US Open winner Justin Rose (68) at the end of the second day of the USD one million Thailand Golf Championship.
Lahiri's flawless round included six birdies and an eagle, while Garcia had five birdies and an ace with no bogeys and Rose landed an eagle and three birdies against one bogey.
Lahiri was two shots behind Garcia, who has his girlfriend on the bag, and Rose.
Lahiri was at nine-under 135 and shared the third spot with overnight leader German Alex Cejka (71) and Frenchman Alexander Levy (65), while the flamboyant American Rickie Fowler came into his own with six-under 66 to be at 6th spot.
Sujjan Singh, who has been Lahiri's roommate for the past few weeks on the Asian Tour, turned in a three-under 69 with five birdies, four of them on back nine, against two bogeys to get to seven-under 137 in tied seventh place.
Sujjan had classy company in World No. 3 Henrik Stenson (67), Asian Tour Money list leader, Kiradech Aphinbarnrat (68) and former Avantha Masters winner, Andrew Dodt (65).
Gaganjeet Bhullar (73) fought back courageously despite running into a unlucky triple bogey on par-4 14th, where he found his drive into an embankment of an bunker and had to struggle his way to a seven.
He finished with a birdie on 18th to stay in the picture at five-under 139 and in tied 11th place alongside Thailand's young Arnond Vangvanij (74) and two others.
As the cut fell at one-over, only four of the 12 Indians who started the week, made the weekend. Apart from Lahiri, Sujjan and Bhullar, veteran Jeev Milkha Singh squeezed inside with a 71 despite a closing bogey.
Missing the cut were Jyoti Randhawa (73-74), who was done in by a closing double bogey on 18th, Abhinav Lohan (72-76), Ajeetesh Sandhu (76-73), SSP Chowrasia (75-74), Abhijit Chadha (81-69), Himmat Rai (72-78), C Muniyappa (71-79) and Digvijay Singh (78-78).
Elated with his round, Lahiri said, "I started out really good. I started from the 10th, holed my bunker shot on 11 for an eagle and that kind of set the tone for the rest of the day, just kept really positive. I was quite disappointed after yesterday's round, because I felt like I played a lot better than I scored."
Amata Springs was where Lahiri qualified for the 2012 British Open and he remembered that fondly.
"I really like the golf course, the layout. It suits my style and I feel really, really comfortable," he said.
Lahiri, who has a chance to finish in top-2 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, added, "I feel like I've been knocking on the door now for so many events, especially these last three or four months. I think I've played some of my best golf, consistency-wise, but in terms of finishing off tournaments it has not been great.
"I've been on the road now 11 of the last 12 weeks, which is probably the most I have played at a stretch, over that period of time. I've been rooming with Sujjan, got to know him and we have become good friends."
Sujjan said, "It has been good for me so far. Two good rounds together and now I am set for the weekend. Yes, it has been great rooming with Lahiri and we have benefitted from that. And of course, having a lot of Indians on the road is great."
Garcia said he was happy with his game.
"I feel like I played well both days. I hit the ball quite nicely. I probably didn't make as many putts as I probably felt like. But overall, yeah, I feel pretty good about it. Driving the ball very nicely. Hit a lot of greens and my short game has been pretty good."
Co-leader Rose said, "It was a funny round, I got off to a bit of a slow start and it all started to happen for me in the middle of the round. Had a bit of a hot spell from nine, 10, 11 and 12. Other than that, I found the greens more difficult this afternoon, a bit more grainy, more than yesterday."