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Bhullar One Clear

Bhullar One Clear
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on August 4,2018. Photo: Fiji International
August 05
11:36 2018

 

India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, an eight-time Asian Tour winner, is ready to draw on his winning experience on Tour to power him­self towards another victory as he snatched the third round lead with a three-under-par 69 at the Fiji In­ternational presented by Fiji Air­ways yesterday.

The 30-year-old has won under blustery conditions before, most notably in Macau and he believes he can replicate that similar win­ning form as he holds a one-shot ad­vantage over the Australian quar­tet of Jake McLeon, Jarryd Felton, Terry Pilkadaris and Andrew Dodt with his three-day total of eight-under-par 208.

McLeon, who finished tied-second in Thailand last week, hopes to ride on his good form and surmount a challenge on the day which mat­ters most after returning with a 70 at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.

Overnight leader Ben Campbell of New Zealand meanwhile had a day to forget when he saw his four-shot advantage wiped out after return­ing with a 77 to slip down to sixth place.

South Africa’s Ernie Els, a four-time Major champion and former world number one, underlined his credentials by signing for a 69 to haul himself back into contention at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways, which being tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour Euro­pean Tour and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia again.

Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) Third round 69 (-3), Total 208 (-8)

“I had a great start to the day. I started with two good birdies and then I kept on hitting the ball re­ally well and the ball was in play throughout the round. I think to­day my striking was really, really good. Despite the windy conditions, I kept the ball in play, and actually I holed a lot of really tricky putts to­day. Looking at the scores, it wasn’t an easy round of golf today.

“Wind was howling, it was gusty, especially on the back nine. Num­bers 10, 11 and 12, these holes were playing straight into the wind, they were really tough. But yeah, I’m glad I played well today and it’s good to be back in contention. It’s never easy to play in this kind of situations, but I remember the last tournament

“I won was in Macau and it was really, really windy. So of course I do have a lot of positive memories playing in this kind of situation. Golf is an individual game. You just have to stick to your own rou­tine and the process. I think that’s going to be my game plan tomor­row.”

Jake McLeod (Aus) Third round 70 (-2), Total 209 (-7)

It was a tough day out there today with all the wind, but I played really nicely, made a lot of putts, which is nice. I played pretty well last week as well. So the putter’s finally com­ing together for me and I’m pretty happy about that. It’s always a good opportunity being up near the lead in the last round, so really looking forward to it.

Ben Campbell (Nzl) Third round 77 (+5), Total 210 (-6)

“I don’t feel like I played anywhere near as bad as what I scored actu­ally. I think I only made one putt out there. It was a bit frustrating. As I said yesterday, you just needed to kind of chip and putt your way around here and that’s exactly what I didn’t do today.

“I’m only two back and I could have easily holed six or seven putts just like that and been still well clear today.”

Ernie Els Third round 69 (-3) Total 211 (-5)

“It was a nice solid round. The conditions were a little bit tougher than yesterday obviously, but I still made a bit of a mess on the front nine. I made two very soft bogeys. I played the back nine quite well and finished nicely. So I’ll be quite far behind, but at least be within sniffing distance. I’m starting to hit the ball nicely, starting to get a bit more confidence in the putter. The greens are running beautiful.

“So it’s there, I’ve just got to keep it together a bit more on the front nine. The front nine, I think, has been playing a little bit tougher this week. Doing that, maybe I can do a little charge on the back nine tomorrow. It’s been a while (to be in contention), so it’s very nice. We’re having a good week, myself, my daughter, my wife.

“We’re enjoying Fiji. And the locals have been wonderful, eve­ryone’s been great. So it’s nice to play a tournament and actually, as I said, have a sniff at it tomorrow.

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Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.fj

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