The Indian golfers came up with a dominating performance on Friday as Gaganjeet Bhullar and two others figured in the top-5 at the halfway stage of the Macau Open in Macau.
Bhullar (64-65), winner of seven Asian Tour events, eagled the 18th to build up a massive five-shot lead over fellow Indian, Ajeetesh Sandhu (66-67).
Bhullar is 13-under for 36 holes, while Sandhu, who has won an Asian Tour event in Taipei and a Japanese Challenge Tour event in his previous two starts in two weeks, is at nine-under.
Another Indian, Shubhankar Sharma (69-68) is tied-5th at five-under 136.
Other Indians were also well placed with Rashid Khan (70-70) at tied-14th at two-under 140, Chiragh Kumar (70-71), Khalin Joshi (70-71) and S Chikkarangappa (69-72) were all
tied-20th at one-under 141.
Jyoti Randhawa (70-73) in tied-39th, M Dharma (74-70) in tied-53rd and Himmat Rai (73-72) in tied-60th also made the cut.
Missing the cut were Honey Baisoya, Rahil Gangjee, Aman Raj, Arjun Prasad and Udayan Mane.
The 29-year-old Bhullar stayed on course for his eighth Asian Tour title with five birdies, an eagle and one bogey, his only error in 36 holes at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
Bhullar rolled in four birdies to turn in 31 and then picked up another birdie on 13 but stumbled with a lone bogey on 15 before bouncing back strongly with an eagle-three on 18.
He smashed a solid drive down the middle of the 18th fairway and backed it with a superb three-wood second shot from about 270 yards, which hit the pin flag before settling
two feet from the hole for a tap-in eagle.
“The eagle on 18 was the most interesting part of my round. It was good solid round. It was windy. It wasn’t easy. I thought it was slightly more difficult than yesterday. I made a good par save on the first hole and that kept me going,” said Bhullar.
Sandhu continued his red-hot form to sign for a 67 and moved into an outright second place, keeping up his chase for a third straight victory in three weeks at the USD 500,000
full-field Asian Tour event.
Shubhankar (68) shared fifth place on 137 with Thailand Prom Meesawat.