Chandigarh's Gurbaaz Mann followed up his first round effort of 41 points with a brilliant 44 in round two to open up a three-point lead at the halfway stage of the PGTI Players Championship, here on Wednesday.
Mann's total stands at 85 after round two and his nearest challenger is Gurgaon-based amateur Aienesh Ahluwalia with 82 at the Classic Golf Resort.
The stableford points scoring format is being followed in the tournament. Under this format, each par accounts for two points, each birdie for three points, each eagle for four points, each bogey for one point and each double bogey (or worse) for zero points.
Mann's fantastic bogey-free round of eight-under-64 earned him 44 points on day two. The 30-year-old was in excellent hitting form and drove two par-4 greens - the 12th and 15th - to set up birdies.
The strapping six-footer landed his chip within a few inches for birdie on the 18th. His other two birdies on the back nine came on the 10th and 14th.
He then picked up three more birdies on the front nine (sixth, eighth and ninth) thanks to his flawless hitting. Mann, who has a professional win to his credit, sank a 10-footer for birdie on the eighth.
"My ball-striking has been great this week even though my putting has been patchy. I've just dropped one bogey in the first two rounds. I'm encouraged by the fact that I've done well at this course in the past, having shot a round of 12-under once," Mann said.
Aienesh Ahluwalia (41-41), an amateur from the neighbouring district of Gurgaon, currently occupies second position with a total score of 82 points.
Round one leader Ashok Kumar is placed third with a total of 81. The cut was declared at 72 points. Sixty-three professionals and two amateurs made the cut.