Rashid Khan shot a steady 2-under 68 to move into the Top-10 at the US$300,000 Thailand Open on Friday. Rashid, a two-time winner on Asian Tour, had three birdies against one bogey as he was 5-under 135 and five shots off the lead in Tied-7th place.
Meanwhile, S Chikkarangappa, who was T-2 after the first round shot even par 70 to slip tp T-7 alongside Rashid. Chikka shot even par 70 with two bogeys on front nine, which were made up with two birdies on back nine.
Four other Indians, Gaganjeet Bhullar (69-71), Viraj Madappa (71-69), Rahil Gangjee (71-69) and Chiragh Kumar (69-71) made the cut at even par and were T-58th. Khalin Joshi (72-76) and Himmat Rai (69-79) missed the cut.
Little known Sarit Suwannarut of Thailand emerged as the surprise package after grabbing the second round clubhouse lead on Friday. Playing in only his second Asian Tour tournament, the big-hitting 20-year-old averaged 322.5 yards en-route to a second straight five-under-par 65 as he leads the weather interrupted tournament on 10-under-par 130.
The Thailand Open was suspended at 6.45pm due to darkness after thunderstorms halted play for more than an hour in the morning. Five players will return on Saturday at 6.45 am to complete round two.
Sarit, who turned pro earlier this year, produced a flawless card highlighted by five birdies to lead by one-shot from Panuphol Pittayarat, who equalled the week’s low round of 64, on his home course at the Thai Country Club.
After changing his driver for the sixth time, Poom Saksansin fired a solid 66 to charge into contention for a third Asian Tour victory on a 132 total.
Sarit pursued his studies at the Virginia Tech University in the United States last year before returning to Thailand to pursue his golf career. He is a regular on the local Tour and has won two out of three long drive competitions in 2018. Sarit has only dropped one shot in 36 holes and is in prime position to win his first Asian Tour title.
Five Thai players occupy the top six spots with fifth placed Kurt Kitayama of the United States being the only non-Thai player.
About the Author
V Krishnaswamy is India's most widely travelled journalist. He has covered more than 20 Majors, Presidents Cup, EurAsia Cup and more than 120 international golf tournaments around the world. He has also covered seven Olympic Games, 8 Asian Games and 6 Commonwealth Games besides numerous World Championships in various sports.