Chikkarangappa S says he is “not a fan” of Delhi Golf Club (DGC) because of its nuances and level of difficulty but that certainly did not show today as he confidently swept into the lead at The DGC Open presented by Mastercard.

The Indian fired a brilliant second-round bogey-free six-under-par 66, on DGC’s enchanting Lodhi Course, to go 10 under and take a healthy three-shot lead over his compatriots Om Prakash Chouhan (68) and Rashid Khan (70), Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong (70), the defending champion, and Sadom Kaewkanjana (67), and England’s Matt Killen (69).

Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, the impressive young Thai golfer beaten by Australian Wade Ormsby in a sudden-death play-off last week at the International Series Thailand, carded a 67 and is one shot further back with countryman Poom Saksansin (66), first-round leader Siddikur Rahman from Bangladesh, who will be disappointed to card a 73 after his 65 yesterday, and Filipino Justin Quiban (71)  – in the Asian Tour’s first visit of the season to the sub-continent.

Chikkarangappa, who started on the back nine, made four birdies on his first nine, birdied his last two, and hit 18 greens in regulation said: “Honestly I am not a fan of this golf course, not a really big fan, but I am just learning how to play every year.”

A top-10 in last week’s International Series Thailand, where he shared the third-round lead with Siddikur, has clearly had a positive effect on a player who has twice finished second on the Asian Tour before.

“I have been putting really well, discussing things with my caddie, and striking the ball really well,” said the Indian, better known as “Chikka”, who has triumphed twice before on the Asian Development Tour, at the TAKE Solutions India Masters in 2014 and 2015.

“I have given a big responsibility to him [his caddie], with no driver in the bag, to hit the most number of fairways, and with that everything will fall in place.”

Nitithorn beat India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu here last year to claim his maiden Asian Tour title and despite not being at his best today he is perfectly placed heading into the weekend of the US$750,000 event.  

“I birdied the first but after that, my approach shots weren’t so good,” said the Thai golfer. 

“I struggled a little bit, bogeyed five, and then a bogey on 10 made me at one over par. After that, I came back with birdies on 14, 15 and 18. Yeah struggling, but I am pretty happy to get back to two under. I’ll take that.”

Poom’s 66, the joint lowest round of the day with Chikkarangappa, was highlighted by an incredible run of five birdies in the last seven holes of the back nine, which was his first half as he started on 10, with his only dropped shot of the day coming on 16. After birdies on one and two he parred his way home.  

“I played good, the driving was good,” said Poom, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour with the most recent coming at the 2018 Indonesian Masters, an event he also won in 2016.

“There were some misses but still I played well. Most of the time my birdies were from like six feet or six feet. I hit my irons better today.

“This is my third time at DGC. The conditions are now way better at the new course. But the bushes are still the same, if you get into it it is difficult to come out. The fairway is softer so better conditions.”

Scores after round 2 of The DGC Open being played at the par 72, 6957 Yards Delhi GC course (am – denotes amateur):
134 – Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 68-66.
137 – Rashid Khan (IND) 67-70, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 70-67, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 67-70, Om Prakash Chouhan (IND) 69-68, Matt Killen (ENG) 68-69.
138 – Poom Saksansin (THA) 72-66, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 65-73, Justin Quiban (PHI) 67-71, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 71-67.
139 – Chapchai Nirat (THA) 68-71, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 68-71.
140 – Taichi Kho (HKG) 68-72, Settee Prakongvech (THA) 71-69, Ian Snyman (RSA) 70-70, Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 71-69, Shahriffuddin Ariffin (MAS) 71-69.
141 – Taehee Lee (KOR) 71-70, Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 70-71, Matthew Cheung (HKG) 72-69, David Drysdale (SCO) 71-70, Kyongjun Moon (KOR) 69-72, Rikard Karlberg (SWE) 74-67.
142 – Mj Viljoen (RSA) 71-71, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 72-70, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 72-70, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 73-69, Kevin Yuan (AUS) 70-72, Shamim Khan (IND) 72-70, Jack Thompson (AUS) 69-73, Douglas Klein (AUS) 70-72.
143 – Angelo Que (PHI) 75-68, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 72-71, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 72-71, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 74-69, Jeremy Gandon (FRA) 71-72, Karan Pratap Singh (IND) 75-68, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 73-70, Sachin Baisoya (IND) 71-72, Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (THA) 74-69.
144 – Natipong Srithong (THA) 73-71, Shiv Kapur (IND) 75-69, Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 77-67, Chen Guxin (CHN) 71-73, Yashas Chandra (IND) 72-72, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA) 74-70, Woohyun Kim (KOR) 71-73, Varun Chopra (USA) 68-76.
145 – Dominic Foos (GER) 75-70, Danthai Boonma (THA) 73-72, Ranjit Singh (IND) 70-75, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 74-71, Yuvraj Singh (am, IND) 69-76, Ben Jones (ENG) 70-75, Angad Cheema (IND) 72-73, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 74-71, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 70-75, Honey Baisoya (IND) 71-74, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 73-72, Berry Henson (USA) 74-71, Kapil Kumar (IND) 73-72.
146 – Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 72-74, Mithun Perera (LKA) 76-70, Abhijit Chadha (IND) 71-75, Runchanapong Youprayong (THA) 75-71, Ervin Chang (MAS) 74-72, Aryan Roopa Anand (IND) 71-75, Tanapat Pichaikool (THA) 72-74, Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 76-70, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 73-73, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 71-75, Manav Jaini (IND) 74-72, Akshay Sharma (IND) 72-74, Shaurya Bhattacharya (am, IND) 71-75, Sangpil Yoon (KOR) 72-74, Harshjeet Singh Sethie (IND) 74-72.
147 – Ryuichi Oiwa (JPN) 76-71, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 75-72, Abhinav Lohan (IND) 72-75, Matt Sharpstene (USA) 73-74, Ben Campbell (NZL) 72-75, Prom Meesawat (THA) 74-73, Ayoub Lguirati (MOR) 73-74, Jaewoong Eom (KOR) 76-71.
148 – M Dharma (IND) 76-72, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 72-76, Aman Raj (IND) 76-72, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 75-73, Saptak Talwar (IND) 73-75, Kartik Sharma (IND) 75-73, Nicholas Fung (MAS) 76-72, Udayan Mane (IND) 76-72.
149 – Gaurav Pratap Singh (IND) 75-74, Nick Paez (USA) 76-73, Dru Love (USA) 74-75, David Hague (ENG) 73-76, Naraajie Ramadhanputra (INA) 71-78, Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 76-73, Ye Wocheng (CHN) 73-76.
150 – Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 77-73, Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 77-73, Trevor Simsby (USA) 76-74, Pawan Kumar (IND) 78-72, Kshitij Naveed Kaul (IND) 80-70, Nick Voke (NZL) 76-74.
151 – Khalin Joshi (IND) 79-72, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 75-76, Rohit Baisoya (IND) 78-73, Oliver Fisher (ENG) 76-75.
152 – Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 79-73, Michael Maguire (USA) 75-77, Aadil Bedi (IND) 75-77.
153 – Poom Pattaropong (THA) 78-75, Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 80-73, James Leow (SIN) 77-76, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 76-77.
154 – Wang Wei-hsuan (TPE) 77-77, Amritinder Singh (IND) 80-74, Denzel Ieremia (NZL) 76-78, Pratap Atwal (am, IND) 70-84.
155 – Viraj Madappa (IND) 76-79.
156 – Taewoo Kim #1468 (KOR) 77-79, Arthur Barakat (LBN) 80-76.
157 – Karan Vasudeva (IND) 81-76, Varun Parikh (IND) 77-80, Dean Naime (am, EGY) 81-76, Vikrant Chopra (IND) 81-76.
158 – Othman Almulla (KSA) 79-79.
159 – Naman Dawar (IND) 82-77.
162 – Peter Badawy (LBN) 80-82.
163 – Saarthak Chhibber (IND) 84-79, Alex Ching (USA) 86-77.

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