On a day when the sun peeped out from behind the clouds only occasionally, five of the six Indians made the halfway cut at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club. Rayhan Thomas, playing in one of the late groups in the afternoon, was caught in the drizzle without an umbrella, with the wind adding to it, but stayed the best Indian at T-17 following a round of one-over 73.
Behind Thomas were Rigel Fernandes (76-71), Kshitij Naveed Kaul (74-73) and Yuvraj Sandhu (72-75) in Tied-25th place, while Viraj Madappa (76-72), who was five-under for his last five holes, was T-31. Priyanshu Singh (79-76) was the lone one to miss the cut, which fell at nine-over. Australian roommates Brett Coletta (67-67) and last year’s runner-up Cameron Davis (65-70) occupied the top two spots at 10-under and nine-under, while a third Aussie, Curtis Luck (70-69) was Tied-fourth at five-under alongside Thai KK Limbhasut and Japanese Yuwa Kosaihira. Junya Kameshiro, also from Japan, is third at seven-under.
The two best recoveries on the Indian side came from Fernandes and Madappa (76-72), both of whom were lying Tied-50th after the first round. Fernandes, returning to Asia-Pacific Amateur after a gap of two years, was in trouble at two-over through four holes at which point he was six-over for the tournament. But then from 18th, his ninth hole, to the seventh, he found three birdies and finished at one-under 71 and moved to T-25.
Madappa, playing his fourth Asia-Pacific, was staring down the barrel at five-over for the day and nine-over total, through 13 holes in the second round. Suddenly Madappa found his approach shots landing within 10-15 foot range and even better, he holed them. “I hit the ball well on back nine, except on 11th, which I doubled. But the 10-12 footers did not fall initially. Things changed from 14th when I holed a eight-footer for birdie. Then came a 25-footer for eagle on 15th. and birdies on 16th and 18th. It was a big relief,” said Madappa.