Taipei, Oct 10 (IANS) Rising Indian golfer S. Chikka fired an incredible seven-under 65 to share the eighth spot with compatriot Gaganjeet Bhullar, who scored 69 in the second round of the weather-shortened $500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship here on Saturday. After the second round of play was washed away due to bad weather on Friday, making the Asian Tour event a 54-hole affair, Chikka, who scored an unimpressive 73 on the first day, got into the act early. He made four consecutive birdies starting from the first hole at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club. The 22-year-old collected further birdie on the sixth before getting a bogey on the par-four 16th hole. But the Bengalurean finished strongly by getting two more birdies for a 65 that gave him a two-day total of six-under 138 — five strokes behind Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines. Bhullar, who also got a 69 on the first day, got birdies on the fourth, seventh, 10th, 11th and 17th against bogeys on the third and ninth.
Among other Indians in the fray, Rahil Gangjee scored a 69 to take his total to one-under 143 and finish tied 46th, while Himmat Rai (70) was joint 60th with a total of even-par 144, where the cut for the final round fell. Another Bengalurean, Khalin Joshi, who started the day at the tied third spot, went through a forgettable day as he carded five-over 77 to be tied 77th and miss the cut by a stroke. Rashid Khan, Angad Cheema, Subhankar Sharma and Chiragh Kumar also missed the cut.
A total of 71 golfers will play the final 18 holes on Sunday. At the top, Tabuena fired a flawless 65 to hold a two-stroke lead over Thai rookie Natipong Srithong (65) and home favourite Lin Wen-tang (68). Niall Turner of Ireland bounced back from a back injury to share the fourth place with Lien Lu-sen of Chinese Taipei and Shaun Norris of South Africa as they posted a 66, 65 and 68 respectively for 136 total. Tabuena settled for an easy birdie on the opening hole when his 12-foot eagle putt lipped out. He added three more birdies in each half to put himself in prime position to claim the title.