Anirban Lahiri went through contrasting emotions on the front and back nines of the demanding Seri Selangor Golf Club, as he came back with a three-under 68 to lie tied sixth after the second round at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Friday.
Lahiri, starting from the 10th, was on fire on the first nine with six birdies and no bogeys. But on the second nine, he gave away two bogeys and a double bogey on the fifth, which he confessed was the easiest hole on the course. He was three-over for second nine.
At one-over after a first round of 73, Lahiri is still in with a shot at tied sixth place, but is seven shots behind Pariya Junhasavasdikul (66-68).
Abhinav Lohan, who played an even par 71 on first day, was again par in second round and is now tied 10th.
Two other Indians, Abhijit Chadha (74-73) and C Muniyappa (73-74) also made the cut, while Himmat Rai (77-71), Sujjan Singh (75-74), Shankar Das (78-71) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (84-72) missed the cut.
"There is only so much you can blame the course. It was the same course where I was playing my front nine and I was playing awesome (he shot 29)," Lahiri said.
"I made a few stupid mistakes, especially the par five fifth hole. That's the easiest hole on the course and to make seven there is like losing two and a half shots on the field. I hit that left, chipped it out into a bad spot and didn't really recover very well," he said.
"A part from that one hole, I played solid. Had a couple of bad bounces to drop a couple of shots coming in. I just didn't take advantage of the par fives on the front nine, played those in one over. But I'm happy I'm still there," Lahiri added.
Pariya Junhasavasdikul of Thailand sank two eagles for a battling three-under-par 68 to maintain his overnight one-shot lead over close friend Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea at the halfway stage.
Pariya and Baek will temporarily set aside their friendship as they head into the weekend rounds at the tough Seri Selangor Golf Club.
Superb eagles on the sixth and 13th holes from 12 and eight feet respectively kept Pariya ahead of the chasing pack on eight-under-par 134.
The burly Baek fought hard for his 68 on a crusty Seri Selangor course which saw only nine players ending with red figures at the conclusion of the second round.
Talented 19-year-old Malaysian amateur Gavin Green carded a 69 for third place on 137, three shots off the lead while Australia's Wade Ormsby, winner of the Panasonic Open India in April, continued his impressive form with a 70 to trail Pariya by four shots.