NEW DELHI – Australian Terry Pilkadaris cut loose with nine birdies in a round of 8-under 64 for a three-shot lead going into the weekend at the Indian Open on Friday.
Trailing him on 10-under totals after 36 holes were India's Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia (67), and Spain's Nacho Elvira (68).
Pilkadaris, who made just one cut in his last six starts, was 9 under through 15 holes in his second round but parred the next two and dropped a shot on the par-5 18th after hitting his tee shot into bushes.
He's a three-time winner on the Asian Tour, but winless for 11 years. Pilkadaris said he was only just starting to feel better after trapping a nerve in his back while moving furniture in December.
''It was a rookie mistake and I'm no rookie, so I should be shot for that one,'' he quipped.
Elvira missed six straight cuts until the Thailand Classic last week, while Chawrasia, a four-time runner-up in the Indian Open, made some fine saves on the back nine, including birdies from the bushes on the 11th and 14th.
''My putting saved me, no doubt,'' Chawrasia said.
David Lipsky of the United States (67), and Ben Evans of England (66) shared fourth place, five shots behind, and defending champion and Asian Tour No. 1 Anirban Lahiri (71) was in a tie for 14th, eight shots behind Pilkadaris.
Padraig Harrington was among those who missed the cut in the European and Asian Tours event at even par.