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Indian Open 2024, Day 2: Nakajima holds 2-shot lead, Ahlawat top Indian as rain stops play

Posted by Admin 29 Mar 2024

In his rookie season, Japan's Keita Nakajima showcased remarkable prowess, surging to a commanding position in the Indian Open with a stellar performance. Nakajima's consecutive rounds of 65 placed him at 14-under, securing him the lead at the prestigious event held at the DLF Golf and Country Club.



Keita Nakajima



As play was halted on Friday afternoon due to lightning concerns, Nakajima stood firm with a two-shot advantage over his closest competitors. Frenchman Romain Langasque, with impressive back-to-back 66s, and Italian Matteo Manassero, displaying a resurgence with scores of 65-68, trailed behind at 11-under.



Tied for fourth were Frenchman Jeong weon Ko and overnight co-leader Joost Luiten of the Netherlands at 10-under, with Luiten having three holes remaining in the second round.



Veer Ahlawat



Veer Ahlawat emerged as the leading Indian contender, securing sole sixth position at nine-under, trailing Nakajima by five strokes. Meanwhile, as play was suspended, 46 players, including Aman Raj at 7-under, were yet to complete their second rounds.



DLF golfer Manu Gandas showcased a remarkable turnaround, firing a scintillating 7-under 65 after a challenging start, placing him at 6-under and tied for 16th. Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar also shared the 16th spot at 6-under after completing their rounds for the day.



Reflecting on his performance, Nakajima, a former World Amateur Golf Rankings leader turned professional, remained resilient despite a brief setback with three consecutive bogeys, finishing strong with a birdie-eagle combination. His exceptional 14-under total for 36 holes matched the lowest winning score achieved in the previous year's tournament.



Having already clinched four titles on the Japan Tour, Nakajima's transition to the DP World Tour has been remarkable, with his current performance showcasing his potential for further success.



In pursuit of Nakajima's lead, Langasque and Manassero remained formidable challengers, with Langasque edging ahead by a single stroke, closely followed by Manassero, who seeks his second victory in a month.



Despite the weather interruption, Norwegian Espen Kofstad produced a remarkable turnaround, setting a new course record with a stunning 10-under 62, ensuring his participation in the subsequent rounds after initially planning an early departure.



As the tournament progresses, anticipation mounts as Nakajima, Langasque, Manassero, and a host of other talented golfers vie for the coveted Indian Open title.



Espen Kofstad



Norwegian golfer Espen Kofstad, who shattered the DLF Golf and Country Club course record by two shots, carding a 10-under 62 to climb into contention to make the cut for the weekend rounds at a 1-under total of 143.



The 36-year-old from Oslo bettered the standing course mark of 8-under 64 shared by Shubhankar Sharma (in 2018) and Arjun Puri (in 2022).



Kofstad’s second round 62 followed an opening 9-over 81, making for a 19-shot swing. The run included an eagle 3 on the par-5 eighth hole when his third shot went past a greenside sprinkler head and into the hole. Starting from the back nine of the course, his remarkable round included nine birdies and an eagle, with a bogey on the thirteenth hole.



READ MORE: Three Indians in Top-15 as Luiten, Nakajima and Manassero share lead at Indian Open

READ MORE: Stellar Field Set for Indian Open 2024: International Stars and Past Champions Ready to Shine

READ MORE: Scheffler Clinches Back-to-Back Players Championship Titles, Seizes US $4.5 Million Prize Purse

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