Bhullar in Top 10 as Catlin closes in on third Asian Tour title in Morocco

‘I have been hitting the ball pretty good and took some opportunities’, said Dubai’s Rayhan Thomas who lies joint 12th

By Nick Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer

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Rayhan Thomas in action on the golf course in Morocco. - Supplied photto
Rayhan Thomas in action on the golf course in Morocco. - Supplied photto

Published: Sun 7 Jul 2024, 10:02 AM

John Catlin is just one round away from his third Asian Tour victory of the season, and his second title on The International Series, after taking the third round lead in the $2 million International Series Morocco.

The 33-year-old American, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit and sits second on The International Series Rankings, posted a third round five under par 68 to lead on 205, 14 under, leading by one from New Zealand’s Ben Campbell.

Catlin won the International Series Macau presented by Wynn and the Saudi Open presented by PIF back-to-back earlier this year, and recently made a fine debut on the LIV Golf League, finishing joint 24th in Houston, and tied seventh in Nashville.

Asked if winning The International Series Rankings – he is currently in second place behind Mexican Carlos Ortiz – to earn a place on LIV Golf next season is a target, he promptly replied: ‘Oh 100%!’

Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), 36 years old and a Dubai Golden VISA Awardee, shot a 72 to be on 210, nine under par and in tied ninth.

On completing his round Bhullar said, ‘I didn’t hit the ball that great today but ended up saving lots of pars. I will be focused on my routine and the process tomorrow.’

Dubai’s Rayhan Thomas (Ind) shot a third round four under par 69 to follow his opening rounds of 69 and 73, to be in sole 12th place on eight under on 211.

Thomas, 24 years old, opened his round with a bogey on the par 3 second hole – but then found his form and made five birdies and no bogeys in the rest of the round with nines of 35 and 34.

Thomas said, ‘I did a lot of good things today, I have been hitting the ball pretty good and took some opportunities. The golf course set-up is a good test – you have to drive the ball well hit your irons well and put yourself in the right positions, otherwise, it can be quite penalizing.

"For the final round I need to keep the plan going – be aggressive off the tee, put myself in the right spots and hopefully make some putts and have a good finish.’

The final round takes place today (Sunday) with play in three balls with the leaders out last at 10.30 am local (Morocco) time. Bhullar and Thomas are paired together along with Charlie Lindh (Swe) at 9.57 am off the first tee.

This week’s event is the eighth of the season on the Asian Tour and the third of 10 stops on The International Series.

Round Three Leading Scores

(Par 73, 7,596 Yards)

J. Catlin (US) 66. 71. 68. 205.

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