The occasion was joyous but C Muniyappa seemed reluctant to part ways with despondency. The uninitiated would have written him off as a pessimist, but the seasoned hand that he is, the Bangalorean knows better — the 12 years spent as a pro have armed him with adequate insight.
A six-under 64 may have placed him as the DDA Open joint leader but given the uncertainty he's been through this year, the mind seemed focussed on the proverb: “Golf is assuredly a mystifying game. It would seem that if a person has hit the golf ball correctly, he should be able to duplicate the performance at will. But that is certainly not the case.”
The year started on a happy note with the 32-year-old earning his maiden Asian Tour card but thereafter form deserted him. “Missing the cut narrowly in three Tour events pulled me down and even affected my show at home,” he said. Known to be a consistent finisher, Muniyappa has just one top-10 finish in the five PGTI events he's turned out so far.
Overnight tied 13th with a two-under, Muniyappa could well have capped the slide at the Qutab Golf Course by placing himself alongside co-leader Vijay Kumar, but the man is in no mood to jump the gun. “Confidence is seeping in and I'd attribute it to the lessons imparted by coach Ajai Gupta, but tomorrow is a new day.”
The difference in approach was unmistakable. While most threw up their hands in exasperation at the inability to make long putts (due to the slowness of the greens), Muniyappa was an exception, the highlight of his round being a 25-yard chip-in for eagle on the 4th hole.
The day’s other success story was Mandeo Singh Pathania. He shot a six-under to be tied third with overnight leader Amardip Singh.
The cut was applied at two-over 142.