Rahil Gangjee Recovers to Sixth Place at Mauritius Golf
, whose last success on the Asian Tour came in 2004, is now five-under for 36 holes and four shots behind the leader, Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark (65-68).
Indian golfer Rahil Gangjee kept his cool and birdied three of his last seven holes for a one-under 70 to stay in the hunt for AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open here on Friday.
Gangjee, whose last success on the Asian Tour came in 2004, is now five-under for 36 holes and four shots behind the leader, Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark (65-68).
Gangjee, who is half Mauritian, was two-over for the day at the Heritage Golf Club before rallying with birdies on the 12th, 14th and 18th holes to aggregate a two-day total of five-under-par 137.
India's other players had a difficult time as only Gaganjeet Bhullar with two birdies in last three holes squeezed inside the cut line which fell at one-over. Bhullar had rounds of 72 and 71 for one-over 143.
Among other Indians, Rashid Kahn (73-71), Shiv Kapur (71-75) and Arjun Atwal (73-77) missed the cut at the inaugural USD 1.1 million tournament tri-sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours.
While Olesen moved into sole lead, European Tour veteran Pelle Edberg, who recently came through his 14th visit at Qualifying School, fired a fine 66 to move into second place lead at 134.
While Gangjee played a great round of 68 in wet and windy conditions on the opening day, he was unable to take advantage of near ideal conditions at the Heritage course on the second day.
The Indian dropped bogeys on fourth and 11th. But he got his putter hot coming home to remain in contention for a second Asian Tour victory. He birded the 12th, 14th and 18th and put himself in the mix.
"When you go from windy conditions to totally no wind, it takes some adjustment. It just threw me off a bit," said Gangjee.
"And I didn't make too many putts on the front nine. I just kept at it and made a few bogeys but I knew there were some birdies out there. I just stayed patient." While he is eager to end an 11-year title drought on the region's premier Tour, Gangjee will not be pressed to be overly aggressive during the weekend rounds.
"I just need to keep to my strategy as this course needs that. If it gets too windy, you just want to get the job done and not be thinking about the score or chasing anybody. You could get too caught up with that and lose your focus," he said.
South Africa's Thomas Aiken also shot 66, but he was in third position at 135. Also joining them in tied third place were another South African Dean Burmester (67-68) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (68-67).
Co-overnight leader Jeunghun Wang of Korea shot a topsy-turvy 72 to tie Gangjee and young Japanese star Masahiro Kawamura, who returned a 69 and lie three shots off the pace.
The 19-year-old Wang made four bogeys against a lone birdie on his outward nine but fought back with three birdies and one bogey.
He successfully made his 22nd consecutive cut on the Asian Tour, a streak which began at the end of 2013.
One of the top attractions Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who opened with a 77 on Thursday, withdrew before the start of his second round following a neck injury.