Shiv Kapur in action on the golf course on the Asian Tour. Image Credit: Supplied

India’s Rashid Khan opened up a healthy four shot lead after round two of the $1 million Mercuries Taiwan Masters today after firing a masterful seven under par 65 on the Asian Tour.

He leads on 12 under from Chinese-Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang (68) and Wang Wei-hsiang (70), the defending champion and first round leader, and Nitithorn Thippong from Thailand (69), who are all in second position.

Dubai-based Shiv Kapur (Ind) shot a second round of one over par 73, to lie in tied 17th on three under par 141.

Tough breaks

Shiv told Gulf News on completing his round, “The pins were a lot tougher today and I actually played a bit better than in round one. I had a couple of tough breaks today but that’s the rub off the green in golf. I am happy with where my game is and hopefully a low score is just around the corner. Today was one of those days where the score didn’t do justice to the way I played.”

Fellow Dubai, MG Keyser (RSA), who represents Jumeirah Golf Estates, shot a second round 71, for a 36 hole total of 145, to make the cut by two shots, which fell at two over par with 59 players through to the weekend.

A trio of Thai golfers, Danthai Boonma (66), Pavit Tangkamolprasert (69) and Donlaphatchai Niyomchon (71) are two shots further back, at Taiwan Golf and Country Club – in what is Chinese-Taipei’s richest golf tournament.

His round was two shots short of the course record set by Chinese-Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang in 2008.

Nitithorn, the highest ranked player in the field sitting in third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, put himself in perfect position to attempt to win for the third time this year.

The rising star, who won The DGC Open presented by Mastercard in March and the International Series Singapore in August, eagled the par-five ninth after drilling his second into nine feet and holing the putt. He moved further up the leaderboard with birdies on 13 and 14 before dropping his only shot of the day on 15.

Front nine

Wang shot a 66 yesterday to make the ideal start to his title defence but endured a rocky front nine mixing three birdies with three bogeys before he steadied the ship with a two under par back nine thanks to birdies on 15 and 16.

Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai, the winner here in 2019 when the event was last played on the Asian Tour, carded a 71 and is further shot back with Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman (69) and Filipino Miguel Tabuena (70)

Ratchanon “TK” Chantananuwat, Thailand’s 15-year-old amateur star, returned a 73 to end the day one under and sit in a tie for 27th.