Andrew McArthur was in pole position for a first European Challenge Tour title in five years as the Scotsman moved two shots clear at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge thanks to a three-under-par second round of 69.
On a day when Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar visited the prestigious Kensville Golf and Country Club, one home favourite drew inspiration from the presence of his sporting idol as Shiv Kapur carded a one-under-par 71 to enter the weekend in second place on six under.
But McArthur stole the show on the fairways and he got off to the perfect start as he hit his approach to three feet at the first and knocked in for a birdie. Five consecutive pars were then followed by a birdie at the seventh, which came courtesy of a superb 20-foot putt. Once again, the Glasgow man stayed steady with nine pars on the trot and a converted 15-foot birdie putt at the 17th helped him to a bogey-free round which elevated him to eight under par for the tournament after opening with a 67.
“I actually hit it better today than the first day,” said the 33-year-old. “I hit it closer and more often and just didn’t hole as many putts, but I still holed a couple of nice ones.”
McArthur is now looking forward to the weekend but knows the difficult lay-out at Kensville Golf and Country Club is no place to relax. “There’s still a long way to go on a course like this but I don’t think there is any advantage in holding back,” he said. “If you shoot level par here at the weekend you’ll be nowhere.”
Kapur, meanwhile, started strongly having teed off at the tenth hole, with birdies at the 12th and 14th holes, but he came unstuck with a bogey at the par five 17th to reach the turn in one under. The New Delhi native picked up a shot at the third hole before missing the green on the par three eighth hole and failing to get up and down for par to finish the day in outright second place.
First-round leader Agustin Domingo of Spain signed for a one over 73 to finish the day in third place on five under par alongside Tim Sluiter, of The Netherlands, who carded a three-under-par 69.