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Jeev, Bhullar miss the cut

February 12, 2010 19:12 IST

Rahil Gangjee stayed in the top 10, but the Avantha Masters golf tournament witnessed an Indian mayhem of sorts as pre-tournament favourites Jeev Milkha Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar, along with 22 compatriots, bit dust on a rain-interrupted day in Gurgaon, on Friday.

On a day when the Indian challenge in the lone European Tour event on home soil got feebler, Gangjee (136) brought home a bogey-free three-under 69 to lie tied-eighth.

Just four of his countrymen made the cut and amateur Rashid Khan -- stranded with four holes to go -- also seemed good for the final two rounds in the US $2.1 million event.

Jyoti Randhawa (139) and former Asia number one Arjun Atwal (141) lifted their game just in time to hang around for the weekend action but as many as 24 Indians -- including Jeev (145), Gaganjeet (145), Shiv Kapur (146), SSP Chowrasia (145) and Gaurav Ghei (145) -- missed the cut, which was set at 143.

Indian Open champion C Muniyappa needs to birdie his final hole on Saturday to make the cut.

Englishman Barry Lane posted a five-under 67 for a two-day total of 10-under 134 to take the clubhouse lead after heavy rain dropped early curtains on the day's proceedings.

Yih-Shin Chan and John Parry joined him at the top even though they were yet to complete the second round.

Gangjee's was a strong bogey-free round and playing his back nine first, the Kolkata pro nailed birdies on the 14th, 18th and seventh holes to keep alive his hopes of adding to his maiden 2004 Asian Tour title in 2004.

Meanwhile, fellow-10th tee starter Randhawa lifted his game by quite a few notches to blast a five-under 67 and soar to tied 20th.

The lanky pro began with a birdie and finished in the same fashion, draining three more in between in his flawless round.

US-based Atwal too came up with a vastly improved round of 69 that included five birdies as against a couple of bogeys to leapfrog to tied 34th place.

Among others, Ashok Kumar (142) and Digvijay Singh (142) also made the cut.

The highest-ranked player in the tournament, Jeev's poor home record persisted with the world number 59 going one-over 73.

Playing his back nine first, Jeev was even-par at the turn but bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes dashed his hopes and the final hole birdie was of little solace.

Bhullar came in the tournament fresh from his Asian Tour International triumph in Bangkok and began with a strong three-under 69 but nothing went right for the Kapurthala pro.

He dropped three bogeys in his erratic front nine and two more on his way back -- managing just one birdie in comparison -- to go four-over and miss the cut by two shots.

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