Thursday, November 17, 2016

Honey Baisoya soars to the top aided by two eagles

Kapil Kumar on cousin Honey’s tail


Digboi, Assam, November 17, 2016: Honey Baisoya of Delhi soared to the top of the leaderboard on the back of two eagles at the IndianOil Servo Masters Golf 2016 on Thursday. His second successive round of five-under-67 placed him one ahead at the halfway stage at 10-under-134.

The leader group at the Digboi Golf Links on Friday will be a family affair as Honey’s cousin brother Kapil Kumar, another Delhi golfer, shot a three-under-69 in round two to end the day in second place at nine-under-135.

Honey Baisoya (67-67), the winner last week in Shillong, impressed with yet another low score that helped him gain one place from his overnight tied second. The 20-year-old Baisoya, however, had a roller-coaster round which was punctuated by two eagles, six birdies, a bogey and two double-bogeys.

Honey, a 10th tee starter, was six-under through his first eight holes till the 17th. He eagled the 14th for the second straight day after driving the green and converting a 20-footer. Baisoya could have had two consecutive eagles had his putt not lipped out on the 15th. The youngster playing his fourth season as a professional looked set for a big lead when he chipped-in for birdie on the 17th.

However, Baisoya suddenly found himself in trouble with double-bogeys on the 18th and the second as he made three-putts on both occasions. Honey pulled it back once again with two birdies and his second eagle-two of the day on the eighth where he holed his second shot from 65 yards. He finally closed an eventful round with a bogey on the ninth.

Honey said, “I’m just repeating what I did last week and carrying forward the momentum. It was a terrific round for me. I don’t remember making two eagles in the same round. I had some trouble in the middle of the round thanks to a couple of poor tee shots but I came back really well. The bogey on the ninth was a bit disappointing after all the hard work.

“The 14th is my lucky hole. I had driven the 14th green yesterday and scored an eagle there. I did exactly the same thing today. My putting has been good so far but I still need consistency in that aspect of my game.”

Round one leader Kapil Kumar (66-69), elder by four years to cousin Honey, went five-under for the day after making an eagle on the seventh, his 16th hole of the day. But an erratic tee shot on the eighth cost him a double-bogey which meant he slipped one position to second, one shot behind the leader.

Kapil, still looking for his maiden title, said, “I was in control for most part of the day but the double-bogey towards the end was a big dampener. Nonetheless, it’s going to be fun playing in the leader group along with my cousin brother Honey as we are both practice partners back home and enjoy each other’s company on the course. But that doesn’t take away from the competitiveness between us.”

The seasoned Mukesh Kumar of Mhow fired a second consecutive 69 to be tied third at six-under-138. Noida’s Amardip Sinh Malik negated two early bogeys with three birdies for his 71 that gave him a share of third place along with Mukesh.

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane was a further shot back in fifth place at five-under-139.

Defending champ Shankar Das of Kolkata shot an error-free 67 to end the day in tied sixth at four-under-140.

The cut was declared at five-over-149. Fifty-one professionals made the cut. None of the local professionals and amateurs made it to the last two rounds.   

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