Singh snatches second round lead

Jeev Milkha Singh had a one-shot lead when the delayed 2nd round of the Avantha Masters was completed on Saturday.

Home favourite Jeev Milkha Singh had secured a one-shot lead after the delayed second round of the Avantha Masters was completed on this Saturday morning.

The Indian No 1 had resumed his second round one-shot behind Spain’s overnight leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who was the clubhouse leader on Friday night on eight under.

The 39-year-old Singh played his last seven holes in two under par thanks to birdies at the 12th, 15th and 17th, his only mistake coming at the 13th, and that gave him a five under 67 and nine under par total after 36 holes, with Cabrera-Bello and two more Saturday morning finishers, Jbe Kruger of South Africa and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand all within one shot of his halfway total

This after Kruger had completed his delayed second round with a 66 and Jaidee with a 67.

Singh, Jaidee and Cabrera-Bello are set to begin their third round at 14:30 local time at DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi.

Looking back to Friday’s play, we saw Rafael Cabrera-Bello drop two shots on the last three holes of the second round, but shrug it away and go on to claim the unfinished second round lead.

He was still one shot clear on the top of the leaderboard when bad light once more caused this fog-delayed event to be suspended with players still out on the course and needing to come back on Saturday morning to complete there second rounds, but he might yet regret those dropped shots, however.

Jeev Milkha and Jaidee, were both at 7-under with seven holes still to play, and at that stage clearly in a very good position to overtake him. Singh did, Jaidee didn’t – but the Thai star did tie Cabrera-Bello for second

As it was on Friday night, Cabrera-Bella was seperated by a shot from a group of four others who had managed to complete their rounds and were tied for second at 7-under.

They were Brit Robert Coles, Indian Shiv Kapur, Dane Mark F Haastrup and Thai
Kiradech Aphibarnrat. England’s Richard Finch was to join them when he completed his scond round on Sarurday with a 69.

Cabrera-Bella was drawn amongst the afternoon starters for the first round, and after a three-and-a-half hour fog delay on Thursday morning, his first task on day two was to complete his opening round.

Having signed for a five under 67, the 26-year-old found himself one behind Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen in a five-way tie for second when he teed off in the second round.

But with Derksen among the late starters in the second round, former Austrian Golf Open winner Cabrera-Bello – he shot a record-equalling 60 in the final round there to snatch the title from Benn Barham – was able to establish a one shot lead with a three under par 69.

That took him to eight under for the week – although it should perhaps have been better.

Starting at the tenth, he birdied his opening hole before holing a 30 footer at the next.

He recorded consecutive birdies again at the 15th and 16th to turn in a four under par 32 and gained another shot at the sixth, before those late bogeys at the seventh and ninth spoiled his card.

“Eight under after two rounds and leading in the clubhouse so I have to be happy,” said Cabrera-Bello, perhaps trying to console himself.

“I started really well, hit some great shots and made some great putts. Then on the back nine I struggled a little bit off the tee and didn’t mange to hit as many fairways as I would have liked which then meant that I didn’t create as many opportunities.

“I went for it at the last and it didn’t happen and I ended up in the water – I almost saved the par, but it just missed. But overall nothing went particularly wrong so I can’t have too many complaints.”

Chances of a home winner at DLF Golf and Country Club received a boost as Shiv Kapur moved into a share of second on seven under, along with Dane Mark F Haastrup, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and England’s Robert Coles.

The 28 year old Kapur, who is still seeking a first European Tour title, revealed that some tips from his coach Jamie Gough between rounds had made all the difference and helped him add an invaluable 65 to his opening 72.

“The 30-minute break between the finish of the second round and the start of the second round did a world of good,” said Kapur.

“I spent some time with my coach and we found something, that helped me through the second round.

“In the morning I just could not find the fairway, but somehow the wedges and putter saved my day. I could easily have been three or four over, but even par was nice.

“After that small session with Jamie, things came together. I hit a lot of good shots and good putts, which came close or shaved the hole. There were not putts that didn’t have a chance. I could easily have been ten or 11 under, but I suppose that can be everyone if all putts fall.”