Queenstown, New Zealand, March 1: Shiv Kapur, S Chikkarangappa and Ajeetesh Sandhu negotiated the first hurdle and made the cut at the 100th New Zealand Open on Friday.
Kapur shot two-under 69 at the Par-71 Millbrook Resort course after a two-under 70 at the Hills Course on Thursday, while Chikka shot three-under 69 at Par-72 Hills Course after one-under 70 at Millbrook Resort course. Both had totals of 139.
Sandhu, who was three-under 69 at Hills on Thursday shot even par 71 at Milbrook in second round for a total of 140. Sandhu was Tied-42nd
The cut fell at three-under and 62 players made it. Three Indians, Rahil Gangjee (142), Khalin Joshi (142) and Viraj Madappa (147) missed the cut.
Asian Tour Qualifying school graduate Zach Murray continued his solid form by signing for a seven-under-par 65 at The Hills to seize the outright lead by five shots at the halfway stage.
The 21-year-old Australian, who held a share of the overnight lead, stormed off the blocks quickly with an eagle-birdie start before adding five more birdies against a bogey to lead on 15-under-par 128 in the NZ$1,250,000 (approx. US$850,000) event.
Overnight co-leader Ryuko Tokimatsu, the highest-ranked Japanese player in the field this week, returned with a two-under-par 69 at Millbrook Resort to take second place at the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, who lifted his maiden Asian Tour title in Australia a fortnight ago, raised the local hopes after carding a 66 at The Hills. He trails by six shots in third place together with a host of players that included past champions Brad Kennedy and Dimitrios Papadatos of Australia, who posted respective rounds of 63 and 66 respectively at Millbrook Resort.
Thailand’s Poom Saksansin made his first career ace en-route to a 68 at Millbrook Resort to tie in ninth place on 136 with five other players, including compatriot Pavit Tangkamolprasert who matched his Poom’s efforts of the day with a 68 on the same course.
A total of three hole-in-ones were recorded on an eventful day at the New Zealand Open. Poom and Damien Jordan of Australia holed out on the second hole at Millbrook Resort while Natipong Srithong of Thailand aced the 16th hole at The Hills.