Bhullar fires day's best of 65, Digvijay slips

Gaganjeet Bhullar made a great charge with sizzling seven-under 65, the best card of the day, but Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng fired a majestic six-under-par 66 to open up a commanding five-shot lead over the field at the end of the third day in the inaugural USD 750,000 Chiangmai Golf Classic here on Saturday.

Bhullar’s 65 took him to 11-under 205, while Digvijay Singh, lying tied second overnight slipped to tied fourth after a battling round of two-under 70, that put him at 12-under after a finishing bogey on par-5 18th. Digvijay, however, is still the best placed Indian among the five left after the cut.

Shiv Kapur (68), Anirban Lahiri (68) and Himmat Rai (70) were all tied 26th at eight-under in the low-scoring event. Adding to the drama was Thongchai Jaidee, who needs a win to qualify for the Masters next month. Thongchai fired a 69 to move to 13-under, alongside Australia’s Matthew Stieger, but they are five shots behind Prayad. Digvijay is tied fourth with Marcus Both (65), Anton Haig (66), Kiradech Aphinabarnrat (66), Scott Hend (67) and Y E Yang (67).

“I didn’t have the best start. I hit it close on the second and fourth holes but I wasn’t reading the greens correctly today. I just didn’t get the speed of the greens right. Then I hit it really good,” Digvijay said.

Four-time Major champion Ernie Els of South Africa fired his lowest of the season with a 66 to move up to tied 15th place, eight shots behind the leader.

Sharmila misses cut

Smriti Mehra shot an even par 71 to make the cut in tied 25th place after two rounds at the Lalla Meryem Cup golf tournament in Morocco.  Smriti is one-over 143 after two rounds.

Things, however, were not so pleasant for fellow Indian Sharmila Nicollet, who missed the cut after a round of 71. Smriti had fired 78 in her first round. 

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