March 2, 2019 6:34:57 pm
Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar held his own and shot a three-under 69 in difficult conditions to lie tied third after the second round of the Oman Open in Muscat on Saturday.
With high winds making scoring very tough here, Bhullar managed to finish with a 69 following his 70 in first round to take his two-day total to four-under 140.
Also making the cut was Shubhankar Sharma (72-74) in Tied-31st, but SSP Chawrasia (77-77) exited early.
Bhullar was just one shot behind leaders Max Kieffer and Joachim Hansen, who were both five-under 139.
“These conditions are, by far, the toughest I’ve ever played in,” Bhullar said.
“The goal is to stay focused and relaxed and give 100 per cent at the weekend.
“The goal is to keep the ball in play, hit a lot of fairways and greens in regulation and give myself a lot of birdie looks. That will be the key for the next 36 holes. Anybody who plays in regulation and makes key birdies will be at the top of the leaderboard.”
Lying at three-under for 10 holes in the second when play was stopped on Friday, Bhullar found two early birdies on second and third to hit the top of the leaderboard, but he gave away two bogeys later on to finish 69, which was the second best card of the round. Bhullar was four-under for 36 holes when he finished.
By the time the delayed round at Al Mouj course, which saw brutal wind conditions for the last two days, ended Bhullar found himself in a tie for third place and he was just one shot behind Max Kieffer (69-70) and Joachim Hansen (70-69).
Tied with Bhullar was Brandon Stone (70) who had to play his entire round in the ‘brutal’ early conditions on day three.
The South African had to play his entire second round on Saturday after high winds brought sandstorms which saw play suspended early on day two. Fabrizio Zanotti (71-69) and Kurt Kitayama (66-74) were also Tied-third at four-under 140.
Stone, who shot a brilliant 10-under 60 while winning the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open last year was happy with his round in the conditions.
Kurt Kitayama saw his ball blown into a bunker on the third before play was suspended on day two and he was also one shot off the lead.
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