Dubai-based Bhullar opens up three-shot lead at Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters

Fellow Dubai based Anirban Lahiri shoots a 67 to make the cut

By Team KT

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Dubai Golden ViSA Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), on the course leading after round two in Indonesia on the Asian Tour.. - Supplied photo
Dubai Golden ViSA Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), on the course leading after round two in Indonesia on the Asian Tour.. - Supplied photo

Published: Fri 17 Nov 2023, 6:05 PM

Dubai Golden Visa Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar is clearly the man to catch at the BNI Indonesian Masters presented by TNE after he lead the field for the second day in a row following a four under par 67 on Friday.

The talented Indian golfer put himself on course to win for the fifth time in Indonesia after moving to 12 under here at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, in the final International Series event of the year.

He leads by three from Canadian Richard T. Lee, who also shot a 67, and by four from American Patrick Reed, in with a 68.

Bhullar took to the front after a 63 yesterday and was unchallenged at the top today, starting convincingly with four birdies in his first eight.

He dropped his first shot of the week on nine and another on 17 but they were the only mistakes for a player who has triumphed 10 times on the Asian Tour, the most by an Indian golfer.

Bhullar told Khaleej Times: “I drove the ball really well yesterday and today,’ who chipped in twice in round two.

“I think one factor which really led me to where I am, 12 under after two rounds, is my driving ability. In the last two rounds I think I only missed two fairways, and the more and more fairways you hit you give yourself more opportunities to be closer to the flag, and that’s what I did yesterday and today.

“The goal was to stay in the moment. The goal was to basically just stay in the zone, stay focused and keep on grinding. Keep on doing what I’m trying to do,” added Bhullar.

Bhullar’s most recent win on the Asian Tour came at the Mandiri Indonesia Open in August last year – which marked the third time he had won the event. He first tasted victory on Indonesian soil at the Indonesia President Invitational 14 years ago and based on his form so far this week, another success here looks within range.

Three shots back, Lee has once again put himself into position to win his first title on the Asian Tour in six years.

Over the past two seasons, Lee has regularly been in contention, including at the Hong Kong Open last weekend when he claimed third place – his joint best finish of the year as he was also equal third in the Shinhan Donghae Open in September.

Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, birdied two out of his last four, including the last. After completing two good days of work, the LIV Golf League star admitted he was hoping to do better.

Korea’s Seungtaek Lee (65), American Micah Lauren Shin (66), Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul (68), and Zach Murray (68) from Australia are joint fourth, five behind Bhullar.

Dubai based Anirban Lahiri (Ind) shot a second round 67 to be tied 55th on two under par.

Lahiri told Khaleej Times: “It was nice to finish strong – I needed it. I took time off after Miami on the LIV Golf Tour. I am still a little rusty. Now I am through to the weekend I need to work on a few areas and hope my best golf of the week is still to come.”

Andy Ogletree from the United States looked like he was going to miss his first cut of the season. However, he produced the kind of golf that saw him win this year’s International Series Order of Merit to make it though, with five birdies in the last seven holes.

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He carded a 65 to finish on three under, narrowly surviving the cut which was made at two-under, the lowest in 11 editions of the tournament.

Defending champion Sarit Suwannarut from Thailand had to withdraw earlier in day, suffering from a migraine.

Leading Second Round Scores

(7,324 Yards, Par 71)

G. Bhullar (Ind) 63. 67. 130.

R. T. Lee (Can) 66. 67. 133.

P. Reed (US) 66. 68. 134.

Z. Murray (Aus) 67. 68. 135.

G. Charoenkul (Thai) 67. 68.135.

S. Lee (South Korea) 70. 65. 135.

M. L. Shin (US) 69. 66. 13


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