Queenstown, NZ, Feb 28: Ajeetesh Sandhu (68) and Viraj Madappa (68) turned in solid rounds of 68 each but on different courses and made the halfway cut at the New Zealand Open on Friday.
They were the only two Indians to get into weekend rounds of the six who started. While Sandhu shot bogey free four-under 68 at the Hillbrook course to get to three-under total and ied-25th, Madappa was three-under 68 at Millbrook with four birdies in last eight holes to reach two-under and was T-35.
Sandhu shot one-over 72 on Millbrook in first round, while Madappa shot one-over 73 at Hillbrook on first day.
The other Indians Shiv Kapur (71-74), Khalin Joshi (71-79), Aman Raj (74-72) and Chiragh Kumar (74-74) missed the cut, which fell at even par.
Sandhu, who had two runner-up finishes on Asian Tour last week, had two birdies on either side of Hillbrook course, but must be ruing the fact that he birdied just one of the four Par-5s.
Madappa who has finished no better than T-33 in his last six starts on Asian Tour had nine pars on the front nine before finding a bogey on Par-5 10th. But he quickly found his rhythm and birdied four times in last eight holes.
Meanwhile, teenager Joohyung Kim (Korea) and Ben Eccles from Australia, occupied the top two spots on the leaderboard.
The 17-year-old Kim, who held the overnight lead after his 64 at Millbrook Resort on Thursday, backed up with a four-under 68 at The Hills today to sit at 11-under par after 36 holes.
Eccles, who was added to the field from the reserve list on Wednesday morning was in second place on 10-under after a four-under 69 at The Hills.
Talented Thailand player Pavit Tangakamolprasert and Australian Lucas Herbert are one further shot back on nine-under.
At the other end of the spectrum, it proved a disappointing day for kiwi hope Ryan Fox, who shot a four-over 74 at Millbrook Resort today to finish on two-over which was two shots outside the cut of even-par for the top 60 players and ties to contest the final two rounds.
Amongst those to miss the cut were former champions Michael Campbell, Peter Fowler, Peter O’Malley, Matt Griffin and Daniel Nisbet.