Chandigarh:Bangladesh golfer Jamal Hossain seized the halfway lead after returning the second day's best score of five-under 67 in the Rs. 1 crore TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2023 at the Chandigarh Golf Club here on Thursday.
Dhaka-based Jamal's (70-67) total read seven-under 137 and he enjoyed a two-shot lead over the quartet comprising Greater Noida's Arjun Sharma (68), Kolkata's Mohammad Sanju (71), Chandigarh's Harendra Gupta (70) and American Varun Chopra (71).
The cut was applied at two over 146. Fifty-one professionals made the cut.
The 38-year-old Jamal, lying tied 12th and two shots off the lead after Round One, had a quiet front-nine with a birdie and a bogey each. However, Hossain's putter began firing on the front nine as he made a 40-foot birdie conversion on the eighth.
Jamal, who was the runner-up at last year's edition of the TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship at Chandigarh Golf Club, then sank long birdie putts at will on the back nine to make a charge.
The three-time winner on the PGTI drained a 35-footer, two 15-foot putts and a 10-footer for birdies. He also landed his five-iron approach within a foot of the flag, his best shot of the day in his own words, for a tap-in birdie on the 15th.
Jamal said, "My good ball-striking form has given me a lot of confidence coming into this week. I've also gone back to my old putter which has helped me put up a better-putting display so far this week.
"The fact that I played well here in Chandigarh during last year's event and finished runner-up, also adds to my self-belief going into the last two days," he said.
Arjun Sharma carded an error-free 68 to occupy joint second place.
Angad Cheema (70) was the second Chandigarh golfer in the top-10 as he was placed tied sixth at four-under 140.
Kevin Esteve Rigaill of Andorra matched the day's best 67. He was placed tied 23rd at one-under 143.
Round 2 leaderboard:
137: Jamal Hosain (70-67)
139: Arjun Sharma (71-68), Mohammad Sanju (68-71), Harendra Gupta (69-70), Varun Chopra (68-71)
PGTI Players Championship: Jamal Hossain seizes halfway lead with day's best 67