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Randhawa a stroke adrift

New Delhi: Surprise overnight leader Zaw Moe of Myanmar was forced to share the lead with Adam Groom of Australia and South African James Kingston after he shot one over par in the second round of the $300,000 Royal Challenge Indian Open golf championship here Friday.

The only threat to the leaders from an Indian at this stage is posed by Jyoti Randhawa who was one stroke adrift at 137.

Moe, who sizzled on the opening day with a record breaking nine-under 63, was a little off-colour but the cushion of his first round card ensured him the top place on the leaderboard with a two-day total of 136.

Groom carded a three-under 69 today while Kingston did even better with a five-under 67 to be each placed on 136 after Round II at the picture-perfect Delhi Golf Club course.

The 2002 Asian Order of Merit leader Randhawa, who was done in by a double bogey on par-four fourth hole today, finished the day at one-under 71 to ensure that he remained in contention for the top prize money of Rs 24,50,000. Randhawa tallied 66 Thursday.

I pushed the drive into the bush and took a penalty, Randhawa, the Indian Open winner in 2000, said after his round.

Canadian Rick Gibson was tied with Randhawa on the fourth place with a level par score today following his 66.

The lowest card of the day of six-under 66 came from Indian Tour star Gaurav Ghei and American Alex Rodger.

The cut which was applied at level par 144. While 68 pros and one amateur made it, defending champion Vijay Kumar, current order of merit leader Mukesh Kumar alongwith fellow Indian Tour stars Amandeep Johl and Indrajit Bhalotia were among the 88 others who missed the cut and were left cooling their heels at the halfway stage.

Kingston carded a bogey-free five-under 67 with birdies on the first, eighth, 11th, 13th and 18th holes. Moe birdied the second, seventh, eighth and eighteenth holes, but bogeys on the third, fifth, sixth, tenth and 12th holes saw him card a one-over-par 73.

SCORES: 136 James Kingston (SA,69, 67), Zaw Moe (Myn, 63, 73), Adam Groom (Aus, 67, 69); 137 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind, 66, 71), Rick Gibson (Can, 65, 72); 138 Gaurav Ghei (Ind, 72, 66); Mike Cunning (USA, 69, 69).

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