Bhullar in sight of top-10 as weather hits play againOctober 31st, 2009 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS
By V. Krishnaswamy
Sentosa (Singapore), Oct 31 (IANS) The start-top-start saga continued at the Barclay’s Singapore Open golf as rain and lightning once again came in the way of Saturday’s programme.
With weather playing spoilsport for the third day in succession, none of the 70 players who made the cut had finished their rounds when play was called off at 5.35 p.m. in the $5 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tours.
Young Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar, who started the third round in tied 13th place, had played 10 holes in his third round to slip to 20th and was three-under for the tournament and with a chance to aim for another top-10 this season.
Jyoti Randhawa, the only other Indian to make the cut, seemed to be going fine till he dropped a double bogey on fifth, his last hole before the stoppage. From one-under for two rounds, he had slipped to even par for 50 holes.
Bhullar was three-under through 46 holes and was five behind the leaders, Thomas Levet, Kodai Ichihara and Ian Poulter, all of whom were at eight-under after eight, seven and six holes respectively in the third round.
“It is always frustrating when weather stoppages come in the way,” said Bhullar, who had just come off a birdie on tenth to make up for the two bogeys on the front nine. “I was in the middle of the fairway on the 11th when the hooter went off.”
“Anyway playing in Asia, we get used to these stoppages, which are common in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. I remember the day I shot 10-under in Indonesia, there were similar stoppages,” he added with a smile and trying to work on positive memories.
The other four Indians missed the cut. Shiv Kapur (72-72) missed by one, S.S.P. Chowrasia (76-70) missed by four, Digvijay Singh 72-77) and Chinnaswamy Muniyappa (76-73) missed by six shots and Gaurav Ghei withdrew with one hole to play in second round. He was then at four-over for 35 holes.
Poulter, who seemed to be running away from the field after turning in a stunning seven-under 64 in the morning, which opened up a five-shot lead for him, was badly halted in the third round. He was four-over through six holes, which included two bogeys and a double bogey, when he went into the water on par-5 fourth.
His five-shot lead had been eroded and Frenchman Thomas Levet (two-under through eight) and Japan’s Kodai Ichihara (two-under through seven) had caught up with Poulter. Levet and Ichihara startd their third round from six-under and six shots behind Poulter.
Chan Yih-shih of Chinese Taipei, a Monday qualifier for the event, parred his 11 remaining holes to take a share of second place with Sweden’s Daniel Chopra, who had completed his second round of 65.
Chopra seven-under after two rounds dropped to four-under as was three-over through six holes in the third round.
Also in the morning, Irishman Graeme McDowell jumped into the fray with a stunning finish where he shot three birdies and an eagle over his last four holes for a 68 to move into tied fourth alongside South African Ernie Els (67-69), Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen (69-67), Ichihara (68-68), Levet (68-68) and Niclas Fasth (69-67).
World number two Phil Mickelson bogeyed two of his closing three holes for an even par 71 and in the third round he was looking to be moving into contention with a three-under front nine at which stage he was five-under. But then between the 10th and 14th, he bogeyed three times and lost the momentum.
Padraig Harrington after the front nine of the second round looked in danger of missing the cut, but he fought back with a stunning four-under second nine stretch, which was the front half of the course. That brought him to one-over for the tournament. In the eight holes he played in the third round, he gave away two bogeys against one birdie to be two-over.
The halfway cut was set at 143 with 70 players moving into the final two rounds. Amongst the big-name players who missed the cut were Major champion Geoff Ogilvy of Australia and New Zealand’s Michael Campbell, besides other big stars like Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama and South Korea’s K.J. Choi.
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Tags: asian tour, bhullar, birdie, bogeys, double bogey, ghei, hooter, ian poulter, jyoti randhawa, kodai, krishnaswamy, open golf, sentosa, sentosa singapore, spoilsport, stoppage, stoppages, third day, thomas levet, weather hits