SSP Chowrasia, the lone Indian to make the cut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championships, turned in a flawless seven-under 65 to zoom up the leader board at the end of the second round of the first event of the Middle East swing on the European Tour.
Jeev Milkha Singh (70-79) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (74-73) had missed the cut. Justin Rose, who had rounds of 67 and 69, was four-under through 11 holes in third and was 12-under with seven holes to go. He was in clear lead with Thongchai Jaidee (66) the clubhouse leader at nine-under. Thorbjorn Olesen was nine-under but had six holes to play in third round.
Chowrasia, who has had very modest success on the European Tour since his 2011 win at the Avantha Masters, seemed to be returning to form after his win in the Indian Tour event in December. "I had been playing well but there was a niggling wrist injury but that seems to getting better and I am more confident," said Chowrasia. "Here in Abu Dhabi it is a long course, but if you hit straight it is fine and I managed that today. On the first two days I did get my birdies but I also made some mistakes."
Speaking of his confidence, he added, "The win in India helped and I have been hitting quite well, though last week again I felt I was troubled but right now things seem fine."
Chowrasia, who had rounds of 73 and 73 on first two days, had a superb run of four birdies in a row from second to fifth and turned in four-under. He birdied 10th and 11th and closed the round with another birdie on 18th, which he has birdied on all three days. He had 26 putts but the key was that each time he missed the Greens in regulation, he scrambled well to save par. On Friday, Tiger Woods was hit with a two stroke penalty and along with World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, he missed the halfway cut. McIlroy recorded a second successive 75 to bow out