India eye medal in golf as men's team lie second; Aadil Bedi is third

Jakarta: Aadil Bedi and Rayhan Thomas continued their sub-par scoring, even as Kshitij Naveed Kaul produced a superb 68 as Indians put themselves into contention for a medal in men's golf at the 18th Asian Games.

If Bedi had a bogey-free round of 69 on Thursday, Kaul shot a bogey-free 68 on Friday as India maintained their second position behind Japan in the race for the team medals at the Pondok Indah Golf Club.

With top three cards from each day counting towards team positions, India is 12-under for two days and second to Japan at 18-under. South Korea are third at 9-under. Bedi, Thomas and Kaul have had their cards counted both days for India.

Bedi, the second ranked amateur on Indian circuit, added 2-under 70 to his first round 69 to get to 139 and individually he was T-3rd while Thomas (71-69), got to 4-under 140 to be T-5th. Kaul (73-68) is 3-under 141 and T-8th. Hari Mohan Singh (77-73) is T-35th.

Bedi (69-70) at third is three shots behind Japan's amateur superstar Keita Nakajima (68-68) who is the individual leader at 8-under. South Korea's Choi Ho-Young (69-68) is second.

As many as seven players are within four shots of the leader and another five are five behind leader with 36 holes to go.

Bedi, T-14 at Asian Development Tour's LP Cup and T-22 in Asian Tour's TAKE Solutions, has been playing with pros and been consistent.

"I dropped those two shots on second and third on my second nine and that cost me. I am hitting the ball well and am hopeful that I can maintain the momentum," said Bedi, who shares third place with Filipino Gao Weiwei (72-67).

Thomas, T-5th with Takumi Kanaya of Japan and Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand, added, "I was happier with my putting today, though it can be even better. That bogey on Par-5 ninth, my last hole, was somewhat disappointing. I have now dropped a bogey on Par-5s three times in two days and that is not good."

Kaul, who spent two weeks in Jakarta playing on his own at this course, after a two-week training camp here with others, was pleased with his hitting as compared to first day. "Things were better today and I found a lot of greens and I putted better, too. I had a nice stretch with three birdies in four holes from 12th to 15th. As a team we need to keep the momentum."

Things were not too good for the women. The best was Sifat Sagoo (75-72) at T-20th, while Diksha Dagar after 71 on first day dipped to 78 and at 149, she is T-24th and Tied with Ridhima Dilawari (77-72).

The Indian girls are ninth, but can make a bid for Top-5 with a little effort from here and the women leaders are China (15-under), Japan (10-under) and three teams, the Philippines, Korea and Thailand are Tied-3rd at 6-under.

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