Bhullar takes share of lead, in-form Ajeetesh lying 4th
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Macao, Oct 19 (PTI) India's Gaganjeet Bhullar blazed his way to a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 to grab a share of the first round lead alongside Korean duo Yikeun Chang and Giwhan Kim in the opening round of the USD 500,000 Macao Open, here today.
Bhullar, a former winner of the tournament in 2012, highlighted his card with seven birdies to match the efforts of Kim, who was equally flawless, while Chang rode on a back- nine 29 to seize the share of lead at the Macau Golf and Country Club.
Another Indian Ajeetesh Sandhu, who won an event in Taipei and followed that up with a win in Japan Challenge Tour, showed that he is ready for the big stage as he shot a bogey-free 66 to trail by two shots in the fourth place.
Of the other Indians in fray, S Chikkarangappa (69) and Shubhankar Sharma (69) were tied 13th, Chiragh Kumar, Rashid Khan, Jyoti Randhawa and Khalin Joshi all shot 70 to be one- under at tied 25th spot.
Daniel Chopra also shot 70 to be tied 25th.
Honey Baisoya and Himmat Rai carded 73 each to be tied 65th, while M Dharma and Arjun Prasad with 74 each are tied 79th. Udayan Mane, Rahil Gangjee and Aman Raj shot 76 each were tied 110th.
"It was a good round overall. I hit the ball really good. I just kept on giving myself birdie opportunities and the game went according to my plan. The putter went a bit cold on my back nine. I didn't hole any birdie putts coming in but I gave myself a lot of good looks," Bhullar said.
"There are still a lot of golf left to go. I sank some good long putts for birdies today. I made a 30-footer on 14 and nailed another long birdie putt on 17 from close to 30 feet. I read the line perfectly for those two putts. I also nailed a trickling right to left putt from 15 feet on 11."
Bhullar, a seven-time winner, needed only 27 putts in his 64.
Starting from the 10th, Bhullar fired five birdies to turn in 31 before picking up two more birdies on his way home. He suffered a wrist injury in 2014, but came back winning the 2016 Shinhan Donghae Open and two months later won the Indonesia Open.
Chinese Taipei's Hung Chien-yao and Filipino ace Angelo Que are three shots off the pace following matching 67s while Finland's Teemu Putkonen and American Dodge Kemmer sit a further shot back following equal 68s