Drysdale in contention at Avantha Masters

Scot two shots adrift of joint-leaders Chapchai Nirat and Liang Wenchong

Peter Lawrie in action during day two of the Avantha Masters at Jaypee Greens Gol in Delhi, India. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty

Peter Lawrie in action during day two of the Avantha Masters at Jaypee Greens Gol in Delhi, India. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty

Fri, Mar 15, 2013, 20:06

Scotland’s David Drysdale shrugged off the effects of a couple of sleepless nights to move into contention for a first European Tour title at the 291st attempt in the Avantha Masters in India today.

Drysdale carded a second consecutive 67 at Jaypee Greens Golf Club for a halfway total of 10 under par that left him just two shots behind clubhouse leaders Chapchai Nirat of Thailand and China’s Liang Wenchong.

Overnight leader Chinnarat Phadungsil, who had been five clear of the field after a stunning 61 yesterday, fared 13 shots worse today with a 74 that left him one behind Drysdale on nine under.

Drysdale said: “I only got a couple of hours sleep last night, which is strange because I was in Dubai for a couple of days so I should be more than used to the time change.

“I slept great the first couple of nights after I arrived but the last two have been terrible.”

England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who won the Challenge Tour in 2011 but only just retained his card last year by finishing sixth in his final event, joined Drysdale on 10 under after a superb 65, as did Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol (68) and Finland’s Joonas Granberg (67).
Leaders Nirat and Liang are both looking to end a six-year wait for their second European Tour titles and have so far matched each other shot for shot with two rounds of 66 apiece.

Phadungsil had needed just 22 putts to card 11 birdies – seven of them in succession in a back nine of just 28 – in his opening 61, but found the going a lot tougher when he was first out yesterday at 6.50am.

Starting from the 10th he covered the back nine in 40 and also bogeyed the first, but birdies at the second, fourth and eighth rescued a respectable score.

Defending champion Jbe Kruger missed the halfway cut by three shots after a second 72 left him level par, while eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie was 150th after another 76.

Spain’s Alvaro Quiros, playing his first tournament for four months after wrist surgery, made the cut by one shot at four under, as did former Ryder Cup player David Howell.

Ireland’s Peter Lawrie missed out by one shot despite a battling 69.