Bhullar, Mollah in joint lead

Bhullar, Mollah in joint lead

Ali Sher slips to tied third

Nice Shot: Gaganjeet Bhullar watches his drive at Eagleton Golf Resort on Thursday. DH photo

After the in-form Bhullar returned a card of three-under 69, Kolkata’s Mollah produced the day’s best score of five-under 67, the pair taking its their two-day total to seven-under 137 for a one-stroke lead at the Eagleton Golf Resort.

Overnight leader Ali Sher, still suffering from cold, could only submit a level-par card to slip to tied third, where he was joined by Sri Lanka’s Anura Rohana at six-under 138. The 21-year-old Bhullar was solid from the word go. His huge driving game him a 50-60 yard advantage over his playing partners. Finding the fairways and greens in regulation at a course where he has won numerous junior and amateur titles with consummate ease, the Kapurthala lad sank birdies on the second and seventh holes, sandwiching a bogey on the fifth.

Bhullar made a rousing start to the backward trip, holing out an eagle from 20 feet on the 10th before birdieing the very next hole. However, he read the line incorrectly on the final hole, missing a putt from six feet for a bogey. Mollah, still searching for his maiden title, made an fiery start after teeing off from the 10th hole. Nephew of former Indian Open champion Feroz Ali, the 31-year-old reeled off four consecutive birdies from the 14th hole before adding two more on the second and third holes. His only blot in an otherwise impeccable card was a lone bogey on the 10th, where he three-putted from 10 feet. Mollah, who led by seven strokes heading into the final round in this March’s Players Chapionship event Rambagh Golf Club but finished fifth, said he felt good about his game and hoped not to mess up another opportunity.

Leading scores: 137: Gaganjeet Bhullar (68, 69), Raju Ali Mollah (70, 67);
138: Anura Rohana (67, 71), Ali Sher (66, 72);
139: Abhishek Jha (A) (66, 73), Vinod Kumar (67, 72), Raj Randhawa (68, 71), Digvijay Singh (71, 68);
140: Sandeep Syal (70, 70); 141: R Srinivas (69, 72); 142: Amardip Singh Malik (72, 70), Ashok Kumar (69, 73).

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