Macau Open

Bullish Bhullar seizes outright lead at the Macau Open

Indian player eagles the last hole to complete a brilliant six-under-par 65 at the halfway mark to stay in strong contention for the title

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 8:21pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 October, 2017, 9:53pm

Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar stayed on course for his eighth Asian Tour title after he eagled the last hole for a superb six-under-par 65 and grabbed the halfway lead by four shots at the storied Macau Open on Friday.

The 29-year-old Bhullar signalled his strong intentions to win the prestigious tournament for the second time in his career when he fired one eagle and five birdies against a bogey for a 13-under-par 129 total at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

Bhullar, who held a share of the overnight lead, rolled in four birdies to turn in 31. He picked up another birdie on 13 but stumbled with a lone bogey on 15 before bouncing back strongly with an eagle-three on 18.

After a solid drive down the middle of the 18th fairway, the talented Indian hit a superb three-wood second shot from about 270 yards which hit the pin flag before settling two feet from the hole for a tap-in eagle.

“The eagle on 18 was the most interesting part of my round,” said Bhullar. “I hit my driver to the middle of the fairway and then a three-wood from about 270 yards which hit the pin before settling two feet from the hole for a tap-in eagle. It was good solid round. It was windy. It wasn’t easy.”

Ajeetesh Sandhu, also of India, continued his red-hot form to sign for a 67 and move into an outright second place, keeping up his chase for a third straight victory in three weeks at the US$500,000 full-field Asian Tour event.

Overnight co-leader Giwhan Kim of Korea returned with a 70 to trail by five shots in third place alongside Filipino ace Angelo Que, who posted a bogey-free 67. Thailand’s Prom Meesawat (67) and young Indian Shubhankar Sharma (68) shared fifth place on 137.

Reigning Order of Merit champion Scott Hend of Australia carded a 68 to tie in 20th position on 141 while defending champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand battled to a 70 to stay a further shot back in tied-31st place.

A total of 71 players, including an amateur, made the halfway cut set at three-over-par 145 at the Macao Open, which is celebrating its 19th edition this week.