Kartik Sharma is highest-placed Indian in tied fourth, Fitzpatrick leads

Bengaluru, Mar 29 (PTI) Kartik Sharma (66-67) was the highest-placed Indian golfer in tied fourth at 11-under 133 at The Challenge 2023, a USD 300,000 event being played at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course here.

The others sharing fourth place were Switzerland’s Joel Girrbach (69-64), who shot the day’s joint best score of 64 as well as Frenchman Frederic Lacroix (67-66).

Englishman Alex Fitzpatrick seized the halfway lead with a second straight seven-under 6.

Fitzpatrick (65-65), who was overnight tied second and one off the lead, took his total score to 14-under 130 in round two to lead by one shot at the event co-sanctioned by the Challenge Tour and PGTI.

Spain’s Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (66-65) occupied second place at 13-under 131 while Dutchman Lars Van Meijel (66-66) was in third position at 12-under 132.

The cut was declared at two-under 142. Sixty-nine players including 66 professionals and all the three amateurs in the field made the cut. Twenty Indian players out of a total of 55 made the cut.

Twenty-four-year-old Alex Fitzpatrick, playing his rookie season on the Challenge Tour, also happens to be the younger brother of 2022 US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick.

The man from Sheffield has gone bogey-free in the tournament so far. Fitzpatrick, who missed the cut at last week’s event at KGA, produced an eagle and five birdies on Wednesday.

The highlights of Alex’s second round included his outstanding drive on the par-4 first hole that landed on the green and set up a birdie, a 10-foot eagle conversion on the fifth and a chip-in from the bunker for birdie on the ninth.

The left-handed Kartik, lying tied fifth and two shots off the lead at the start of the day, sank three long birdie putts from a range of 10 to 30 feet on the back-nine.

The 22-year-old Kartik, yet to register his first win, then added two more birdies courtesy his accurate chipping on the front-nine.

India’s Aman Raj, like Kartik, too fired a flawless 67, to move up six spots and end the day in tied 10th place at nine-under 135.

The Indian duo of Udayan Mane (64) and M Dharma (66) were tied 15th at eight-under 136. Udayan fired the day’s joint best score of 64.

Source: PTI News


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