Golfer Gangjee tied sixth in Mauritius Open
Domaine de Bel Ombre (Mauritius): Indian golfer Rahil Gangjee birdied three of his last seven holes for a one-under 71 to maintain his joint sixth position while Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen seized a one-shot halfway lead at the inaugural Mauritius Open on Friday.
On the second day of the $1.1 million tournament that saw Javi Colomo of Spain sink an historic ace on a par-four hole, Gangjee was two-over for the day before rallying with birdies on the 12th, 14th and 18th holes to garner a 137 as the two-day total.
Co-overnight leader Jeunghun Wang of Korea shot a topsy-turvy 72 to tie Gangjee and young Japanese star Masahiro Kawamura, who returned a 69 and lie three shots off the pace at the par-71 Heritage Golf Club.
"When you go from windy conditions to totally no wind today, it tak es some adjustment. It just threw me off a bit," said Gangjee, who is half-Mauritian.
"I didn't make too many putts on the front nine. I just kep t at it and made a few bogeys but I knew there were some birdies out there. I just stayed patient."
India's Gaganjeet Bhullar was lucky to make the cut that was declared at one-over 143. Bhullar was joint 63rd after the second round, while Rashid Khan, Shiv Kapur and Arjun Atwal missed the cut.
Olesen, a two-time European Tour winner playing in his first event following a three-month injury layoff, fired a three-under 68 for a nine-under 133 total to lead the tournament tri-sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours.
However, the day truly belonged to Colomo, who fired the first ever ace on a par-four hole on all the three Tours. The Asian Tour regular needed a birdie to make the weekend rounds but instead holed out his tee shot with a driver from 329-yards on the par-four ninth hole. Colomo signed for a 69 and 141 total for a share of 36th place.
One of the top attractions Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who opened with a 77 on Thursday, withdrew before the start of his second round following a neck injury.
133: Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 65-68 134: Pelle Edberg (SWE) 68-66 135: Thomas Aiken (RSA) 69-66, Dean Burmester(RSA) 67-68, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 68-67 137: Masahiro Kawamura (JPN) 68-69, Rahil Gangjee (IND) 67-70, George Coetzee (RSA) 70-67, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 65-72, Carlos Pigem (ESP) 65-72, Oliver Bekker (RSA) 66-71, John Parry (ENG) 67-70, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 66-71.