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
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.