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Abhishek Jha takes over the lead at Eagleburg Masters

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Abhishek Jha fired a second round card of six-under 66 to take the pole position at the halfway stage at nine-under 135 at the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) Eagleburg Masters here on Wednesday.

Bengaluru's Abhishek, who carded 69 on Tuesday, was followed by S. Chikka and Khalin Joshi who got scores of 69 to be tied second, one shot off the lead, as all Bengalureans occupied the top three positions.

Faridabad's Abhinav Lohan and Delhi's Shamim Khan shot the day's best scores of 65 to be joint fourth at seven-under 137 along with Bengaluru's Udayan Mane who returned a 68 on Wednesday.

Bengaluru's M Dharma and Kolkata's Shankar Das, the top-2 in round one, slipped to joint seventh at 138 as a result of their scores of 73 and 72 respectively.

Abhishek, lying overnight tied ninth, started making a move on day two when he capitalised on the first two par-five holes, the fourth and seventh, with birdies. Abhishek, playing at his home course, picked up another stroke on the eighth, to make the turn at three-under.

The towering golfer, standing 6 feet 5 inches tall, sank four more birdies on the back-nine at the expense of just one bogey. His shot of the day came on the 13th where he landed it within a foot for birdie from a distance of 100 yards.

He said: "I hit it closer today as compared to day one. I set up quite a few short birdie putts. I was also putting like my old self after a long time and rolled them well.

"I always shoot one or two good rounds here at my home course. But now I feel that I need to do better than that by being consistent through the four days," added Abhishek, who was runner-up at the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event at Eagleton back in 2014.

He further said, "I've not had a single top-20 finish this year. However, I've been fairly consistent having made the cut in all seven events that I've played so far.

"I've been close to par all along and have not shot very high scores. I've also been a lot straighter off the tee this year."

Chikka (67-69) and Khalin (67-69), two of the pre-tournament favourites, struggled with the putter but still managed to put up scores of 69 on day two to be tied second.

Khalin was left to rue the missed opportunities as he couldn't convert the four eagle chances from within 10 feet that came his way on all the par-5 holes.

Both Abhinav and Shamim made an eagle, six birdies and a bogey each to produce the day's best scores of 65. Lohan holed out from 85 yards for his eagle on the ninth.

Udayan Mane joined Abhinav and Shamim in a three-way tie for fourth after his second round of 68.

Bengaluru-based Rahil Gangjee was 11th at four-under-140.

The cut fell at two-over 146, with 51 professionals making the halfway cut.

Panchkula-based Shubhankar Sharma (75-72), the current Rolex Ranking leader, missed the cut as he totalled three-over 147.