Ghei in top-10, indisposed Bhullar slips

November 1st, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Johor Bahru (Malaysia), Nov 1 (IANS) Gaurav Ghei shot an eventful four-under 68 to move into the top-10 at the end of the third round of the Iskandar Johor Open golf championship Saturday. The three-time winner on the Asian Tour, Ghei, who was fourth here last year, is now five-under for 54 holes and is lying tied 10th. He has moved from 41st in first round to 26th to 10th after three days.However, things were not as good for Gaganjeet Bhullar, who was indisposed Saturday. But in the morning, Bhullar did suggest that he was up to it as he birdied one of his last two holes to join Niclas Fasth of Sweden and Mitchell Brown of Australia in shared lead at eight-under.

Bhullar had a 66 in second round, but his third round ballooned to four-over 76 as he played with fever. Bhullar, tied first after two rounds, slipped to tied 13th at four-under.

Fasth (70) birdied the last three holes to go into sole lead at 10-under 203 and he was one ahead of veteran 10-times winner on Asian Tour, Thaworn Wiratchant (69). Brown (72) was third at eight-under. Kane Webber (70) and Iain Steel (70) were one shot further behind.

Among other Indians, Arjun Singh (71) was tied 32nd, Baaz Mann (73) was tied 57th, Firoz Ali (75) was tied 61st and Harmeet Kahlon (77) was tied 76th.

Anirban Lahiri (73) at four-over 220 at 80th, Rahil Gangjee (78) at five-over in 89th and Himmat Rai (75) at seven-over in 98th place missed the cut.

“It was a crazy round. I felt I hit a lot of good shots but made some stupid mistakes. I made five bogeys and still shot a 68. I missed a few small putts as well. On 16, I nearly holed it and then didn’t touch the hole with the birdie putt from three putt. But I finished with a really good putt on the last, holed a seven footer down the hill on 18 to keep me in the tournament. That could have been a double bogey. It was a good way to finish,” said Ghei.

“This is the kind of course where you can pick up shots but can also go the other way. You just have to stay patient and hit as many birdies as possible. Last year, I finished two shots behind Artemio. I like the golf course, how it sets up. The greens can be tricky. It’s a kind of a course that the long hitters won’t get away from you,” he added.

In the morning, Bhullar birdied one of his two finishing holes of the second round to make it a three-way tie for the lead at the halfway stage.

The 20-year-old upcoming player signed for a six-under-par 66 to join Fasth and Brown atop the leaderboard on eight-under-par 136.

The cut was set at 147, with 79 players including three amateurs progressing into the last two rounds.

Bhullar in the morning was happy to still be around for the tournament.

“I had fever yesterday and got up in the morning and couldn’t feel myself when I was standing. I wanted to withdraw but told myself to just get through this week as we’ll take next week off,” said Bhullar.

“I wanted to give it 100 percent here. I have been on medication and the fever is less now but I’ve got a bad throat and a cold. I’m feeling much better today.”

That poor condition took a toll in the afternoon as he went four-over.

Bhullar has made five cuts in a row to lie in 61st place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, which indicates his good form, but he wants to feel the excitement of challenging for a title.

“I’m in the bubble (on the Order of Merit). Everything will hinge on the Barclays Singapore Open but I would like to seal my card in this event. I don’t want to put pressure on myself in Singapore. I’m playing well and I’m confident with my game.”

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