The Bhullar Diary: ‘I’m all set and the plan is to play my normal game - not too aggressive, not too defensive’

‘Anything can happen (in Liv Golf Promotions) but I know my caddie well enough that we can remind each other if either of us goes off-script

By Gaganjeet Bhullar

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India's Gaganjeet Bhullar lining up a shot. - AFP File
India's Gaganjeet Bhullar lining up a shot. - AFP File

Published: Fri 8 Dec 2023, 8:22 PM

The buzz on the range today was all about the Jon Rahm news that he is joining LIV Golf in 2024 and the realization that three players here at Abu Dhabi Golf Club will be playing next year in the same events as Jon and the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Anirban Lahiri and other world stars and personalities.

There is certainly an awareness around the group that this is a special week and potentially life-changing for some of us.

I arrived at around 9 am at the golf course, mindful that Round 1 was playing out with 60 players all just trying to get to Round 2 with a Top-20 and ties finish.

My caddie walked the golf course and did all his homework. He has caddied in tournaments before in Abu Dhabi – so he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the course – the scoring holes and non-scoring holes.

Dubai resident Joel Stalter (Fr) made it to the second day in the LIV Promotions at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.- Supplied photo
Dubai resident Joel Stalter (Fr) made it to the second day in the LIV Promotions at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.- Supplied photo

I practised for a couple of hours this morning and I did some putting in the afternoon.

I have watched some of the LIV Golf Promotions live on TV’s all over the clubhouse. The scoring is good and two under par is the qualifying mark with 29 players moving on to Saturday.

I also plan to visit the gym later and then I will be tournament ready with a good night’s sleep.

I plan to play my normal game, not too aggressive and not too defensive.

I am determined to not do any scoreboard watching, but in the end on the last couple of holes, I may check whether I need to attack or defend, especially with the 18th hole on the National Course being a par 5 that is reachable at 567 yards. So really anything can happen.

It is an unusual mindset, but I know my caddie well enough that we can remind each other if either of us goes off-script.

I am sure the scoring on Saturday will be fairly similar.

The best score today was by Kerry Mountcastle (New Zealand) with an eight under par 64 – six shots lower than he needed to make tomorrow. Mountcastle qualified for this week by being in the Top-3 available players on the PGA Tour of Australia on November 30, 2023.

My new friend and Dubai resident Joel Stalter (France), who plays out of The Els Club, Dubai, made the cut two-under par 70 with nothing to spare at tied 18th.

So, two Dubai representatives are playing on Saturday and flying the flag for the home nation.

Speak to you after Saturday's round.

The LIV Golf Promotions can be watched on LIV Golf Plus from 12.30 pm – 5 pm local UAE time.

Visit www.LIVGolf.com

Gaganjeet Bhullar is a Dubai Golden Visa Awardee and an 11-time winner on the Asian Tour.


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