Magical Day for Muniyappa

Fri 09 Oct 2009

Magical Day for Muniyappa


New Delhi, October 9: Indian C. Muniyappa, an unheralded golfer from Bangalore, upstaged the stars and made it the finest hour in his career to date when he took a share of the halfway lead in the US$1.25 million Hero Honda Indian Open on Friday.


The 32-year-old, in his first season on the Asian Tour, shot a three-under-par 69 to top the leader board along with Korean Lee Sung, who shot a 70 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.


The pair lead on nine-under-par 135 by a stroke from Adam Blyth from Australia and Indian Digvijay Singh. They returned rounds of 72 and 68 respectively in the Asian Tour event.


Muniyappa's performance has put him in the spotlight for the first time and will give the galleries plenty to cheer about on day three.  


"I have learned a lot from playing in Asian Tour events overseas this year and it has given me a lot of confidence. I think that is showing this week. I really am trying to focus on keeping my card this year so to be leading is an extra bonus," said Muniyappa, who plays his golf at Karnataka Golf Association golf course in Bangalore.

He is currently in 97th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with earnings of US$17,391, having played in 10 events.

The Indian started his round on the back nine and started poorly with a bogey on the 14th. However, he made a quick fire recovery with birdies on the next two holes and on the front nine birdied two and six.

Lee, who has won once on the Asian Tour in the 2007 Bangkok Airways Open, has been struggling with a back injury for much of the season.

However, as he begins to recover from that so his game is starting to get back on track. A birdie on the ninth hole, his last, helped him finish in a tie for top spot.

First round leader Blyth had been in the lead for much of the day before a poor back nine of three-over-par 39 saw him slip back. He was one ahead at the turn but then bogeyed 11, 13, 14, and 15. 

"I was cruising along really nicely but then it all went wrong on the back nine. When I was walking off 17, I just tried to figure out what went wrong and it was really just bad luck. For example on 11, I just hit it over the back, chipped on and just missed the putt. Then on 14, I was just trying to lay up with an eight iron but got a huge flyer out of the rough so it carried into the water. I really didn't hit any bad shots," said Blyth, who recovered somewhat with a birdie on the 17th.

Two of the tournaments big name players Indian Arjun Atwal and Michael Campbell from New Zealand recovered well after poor first rounds. Atwal, who won this event in 1999, came in with a 66 while Campbell, the 2005 US Open champion shot 67.

Leading second round scores:

135 - C. Muniyappa (IND) 66-69, Lee Sung (KOR) 65-70

136 - Digvijay Singh (IND) 68-68, Adam Blyth (AUS) 64-72

137 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 68-69, Mars Pucay (PHI) 70-67

138 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 70-68, Keith Horne (RSA) 67-71

139 - Unho Park (AUS) 67-72, Mukesh Kumar (IND) 71-68, Jason King (AUS) 66-73, Scott Hend (AUS) 69-70, Daniel Chopra (SWE) 67-72

140 - Marcus Both (AUS) 69-71, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 69-71, Raju Ali (IND) 69-71,Harinder Gupta (IND) 68-72, Stephen Leaney (AUS) 70-70



141 - Arjun Atwal (IND) 75-66

143 - Michael Campbell (NZL) 76-67



About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.