Jyoti lone Indian to make cut in Hong Kong Open


Hong Kong: Jyoti Randhawa was the lone Indian to make the cut even as World No 1 Rory McIlroy and three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington fell by the wayside in the $2 million Hong Kong Open on Friday.

Randhawa, who had shot 68 in the first round, followed it up with a second round 70 and his total of two-under 138 at the par-70 Hong Kong Golf Club saw him placed tied 20th.

Himmat Rai (68-75), Shiv Kapur (69-75), Gaganjeet Bhullar (71-76) and SSP Chowrasia (76-72) missed the cut, while Digvijay Singh and Chiragh Kumar withdrew after first round cards of 80 each.

Except for Randhawa, it was disaster out there for the Indian golfers, but none will rue it more than Shiv Kapur, who was on the cut line needing to make par to make the weekend rounds.

Had he made the cut, he would have earned the 2013 European Tour card for himself as he is placed 129th and the top-119 expected to get the rights. But he double bogeyed the 18th and crashed out at four-over and the cut fell at two-over 142.

Randhawa, who has been trying to make a comeback of sorts, had four birdies and four bogeys. After starting with a bogey, his round included a mid-round blip with bogeys on seventh and ninth and another at 18th. His birdies came third, sixth, 13th and 14th.

McIlroy of Northern Ireland will not be defending his title as he made early exit after rounds of 73 and 72.

"Hong Kong is a great place and this is such a great tournament. I always enjoy coming back here. Just a pity that this year it had to end like that," said McIlroy.

Also crashing out was Harrington with rounds of 71-75. The cut was set at two-over with a total of 73 players making the cut.

New Zealand's Michael Campbell continued his great revival by taking the midway lead. Campbell signed for a 64 to take the second round lead on nine-under-par 131 while Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Sweden's Fredrik Andersson Hed are tied for second with Zhang on 132.

Having gone without a win since lifting the US Open title in 2005, Campbell continued his golf revival by moving atop the leaderboard for a well-deserved lead. Campbell has climbed from 910th place on the official world golf ranking four months ago to 339th, thanks largely to his third-place finish in Portugal last month.

China's Zhang Lian-wei, a five-time Asian Tour winner, remained on course for a unique Chinese treble after he carded a four-under-par 66. Zhang is a past winner of National Opens of China and Macau on the Asian Tour.

Denmark's Anders Hansen, who had taken the morning round lead earlier, was in fifth place after rounds of 69 and 64 while Asian Tour members Javi Colomo of Spain and Japan's Daisuke Kataoka shared sixth place on 135.

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