R Murthy is striving hard to shake off the label of a journeyman. On Friday, the 31-year-old from Bangalore may have taken a giant step by ending the penultimate day of the Solaris Chemtech Open as sole leader. The joy of scaling a virgin peak could not be doubted but also unmistakable was the trepidation of treading on alien turf.
“Of late, I’ve been playing well on the first two days but its been downhill after that,” said Murthy. As the day unfolded, the phenomenon of losing steam seemed to be at work again when he opened with a bogey on the 2nd. “After missing the short putt, I told my caddie, ‘let’s turn it around’,” he said. Sure enough, the man began dealing in birdies and after picking up three consecutive shots, another birdie happened on the 7th.
A stroke off the lead, at nine-under 207, was Vijay Kumar. Despite the off day, Vijay will begin pecking at the lead, as will SSP Chowrasia (six-under 210) and the hugely experienced Gaurav Ghei at five-under 211.