Australia’s Unho Park, India’s Jyoti Randhawa and Japan’s Taichiro Kiyota were among those who took advantage of the benign morning conditions to move to the top of the leaderboard midway through the second round of the Johnnie Walker Classic.
As the DLF Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of New Delhi basked in warm sunshine, scores tumbled with Park carding a six under par 66 to move to ten under par 134, one ahead of Randhawa and Kiyota, who shot rounds of 67 and 65 respectively.
However the honour of the low round of the morning went to England’s Phillip Archer, who picked up six birdies and an eagle on his way to a 64, one shot outside the course record, and halfway total of eight under par.
That aggregate was matched by pre-tournament favourite and World Number Five, Adam Scott, who shot a 68 and England’s Graeme Storm, 66.
Park, a Korea-born Australian, reeled off five birdies in six holes only to suffer bogey fives on the 12th and 15th holes. However, the 34 year old Singapore-based player with one of the best swings in Asia birdied the final two holes to clinch the lead halfway through the second round.
Park missed the cut in last week’s SAIL Open on the Asian Tour but seemed to find something in his swing after watching three-time Major Champion Vijay Singh on the range.
“I was watching Vijay on his backswing and he keeps his head really still,” said Park, “I tried to do similar things as I move my head a lot. I just tried to stay more steady and it is working.”
Randhawa, playing at his home club, took full advantage of his local knowledge to charge up the leaderboard as he looks to win his maiden European Tour title and Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh and SSP Chowrasia as a European Tour champion.
Scott was pleased after finding the tricky greens playing more true in the morning.
"At the moment I'm right in contention, so that is a good spot to be,” he said. “"I didn't play quite as well today as I did yesterday but still managed to have a good round," said the Australian, whose only blemish was a bogey five on his fourth hole.
Archer, who claimed three runners-up finishes last year on his way to a career high of 29th on The European Tour Order of Merit, followed two early birdies with an eagle three on the 18th hole, his ninth. He then reeled off four birdies on the return.
"I don't like to say it is easy but it felt very easy with no stress," Archer said.
"I went on the range yesterday and found a few key things in the swing, got a little more patient on the top of the swing and struck it lovely today."