Ashok stays one shot ahead of the pack

Ashok stays one shot ahead of the packGurgaon, Dec 17 : Ashok Kumar kept the lead with a three-under 69 in round two of the PGTI Tour Championship 2009 golf to lead by one stroke. Ashok's second round effort took his total to 10-under 134.

Shamim Khan, who returned a 68 Thursday, is one stroke behind the leader in second place.

Raju Ali Mollah (70, 67) is third at seven under 137 while S. S. P. Chowrasia and Rahil Gangjee share fourth spot at six under 138.

Gaganjeet Bhullar and Himmat Singh Rai are tied 10th at three under 141 while C. Muniyappa lies tied 13th at two under 142. Anirban Lahiri and Mukesh Kumar share 22nd place at even par 144.

Ashok Kumar (65, 69) began with a birdie on the very first hole where he sank a 30 feet putt. A bogey followed on the fifth as his drive found the bunker.

Ashok then stepped on the gas on the back nine, making three more birdies on the 12th, 14th and 17th. His birdies on the back nine were a result of some well-executed approach shots that landed quite close to the hole and an exceptional tee shot on the 17th that landed just four feet from the pin.

Ashok, currently fifth on the Aircel-PGTI Order of Merit, said, "I had a solid start today, having converted a 30-footer for birdie on the opening hole. I then consolidated on the back nine with some good iron-play. I also had a high percentage of regulations. However, my driving and putting was not as good as round one."

He added, "I'm quite satisfied with my performance in the first two rounds as I have had a one-month break from the game prior to this event due to personal reasons. I have not had much practice over the last one month but despite that I came out and fired some low numbers on the first two days. These are good signs for me."

Shamim Khan (67, 68), who is currently fourth on the Aircel-PGTI Order of Merit, overtook Ashok for the lead on the fifth hole, after he made birdies on the first, third and fifth.

Shamim, however, could not maintain the lead as he bogeyed the seventh and eighth. The Delhi golfer then rallied with birdies on the 11th, 16th and 18th.