Macau Open

Former champion Gaganjeet Bhullar shoots flawless 64 to take share of the lead at Macau Open

The 29-year-old and Korean duo Chang Yi-keun and Kim Gi-whan sit at seven under after the opening day

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 October, 2017, 9:24pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 2:16pm

Former champion Gaganjeet Bhullar, of India, turned in a flawless seven-under-par 64 to grab a share of the opening-round lead with Korean duo Chang Yi-keun and Kim Gi-whan at the Macau Open yesterday.

Bhullar, who won the tournament in 2012, posted seven birdies while Kim was equally impressive at the Macau Golf & Country Club.

The 23-year-old Chang fired a superb back-nine 29 highlighted by four birdies and an eagle two on the third hole.

In-form Ajeetesh Sandhu, of India, signalled his strong intentions of winning a third straight title when he signed for a 66 to trail by two shots in fourth place with Thailand’s Danthai Boonma at the US$500,000 Asian Tour event.

“It was a good round overall. I hit the ball really good,” said 29-year-old Bhullar, who needed only 27 putts in his round. “I just kept on giving myself birdie opportunities and the game went according to plan.

“The putter went a bit cold on my back nine. I didn’t hole any birdie putts coming in but I gave myself a lot of good looks. There is still a lot of golf left to go.”

For Kim, it was his best round in four attempts at the tournament, having missed the cut the previous three times he played. He said that fewer trees on the course helped.

“I was also able to get my ball on the greens. There were fewer trees this year so I guess that helps,” he said. “Like on the 10th hole, the cutting down of trees helped me because I hit it a little bit left off the tee but I was still able to get it on the green. In the past, I would have trouble hitting it over the trees.”

Chang benefited from a one-week break in Korea after playing eight weeks in a row.

Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert to defend Macao Open title in October

“I didn’t really touch the clubs last week,” he said. “I thought I needed some rest. I felt really refreshed coming into this week and happy to get off to a good start.”

Defending champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert, of Thailand, battled to a round of 72 for a shre of 47th place.