Jakarta, Indonesia, 26 Oct 2017

Bhullar carries sizzling form to Indonesia Open, makes hole-in-one en route lead on incomplete day one

In-form Gaganjeet Bhullar of India launched his title defence by going five-under through 17 holes, highlighted by a hole-in-one on 12, before darkness stopped play in the opening round of the Indonesia Open on Thursday.

He matched the day’s efforts of playing partner Stephen Leaney of Australia, American Jason Knutzon and local hope Danny Masrin, who are both at five-under through 16, at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.

A host of eight players, including Ye Htet Aung of Myanmar, Singapore’s Quincy Quek, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit of Thailand and Rory Hie of Indonesia, shared the clubhouse lead after signing for matching four-under-68s at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.

Coming off the back of a win in Macao last week, Bhullar fired three birdies in his opening six holes before stumbling with a double-bogey on the seventh hole to turn in 35, just before play was suspended.

The 29-year-old Indian, however, caught fire after returning to the course, capping a birdie-birdie-hole in one-birdie run from the 10thhole before dropping a shot on 16.

Gaganjeet, chasing a third Indonesia Open title, said, “I have had five hole-in-ones so far, this is my second during a tournament. It was on hole 12, 172 yards out and I hit an eight iron. It was a lucky shot that landed just five feet away from the pin and then rolled in.

“I made the turn at one-under and then birdied the 10th and 11th that gave me a boost. I then made the hole-in-one on 12th, continued to make a birdie on hole 13 with a long 30-foot-putt, so that was a good stretch of holes for me.”

Play was suspended at 2.25pm local time due to lightning threats before resuming an hour and 20 minutes later. It was later abandoned for the day at 5.42pm due to fading light.

A total of 28 players will resume their rounds at 6.10am on Friday, with the second round to commence at 6.15am as per schedule.

Udayan Mane, four-under through 15 holes, was the next best Indian in tied fifth.

Among the other Indians, Khalin Joshi and Ajeetesh Sandhu posted scores of 71 to be tied 29th while the trio of Arjun Prasad, Himmat Rai and Honey Baisoya returned rounds of 72 to be tied 45th.

Honey Baisoya was four-under through 15 holes but dropped a triple bogey and a bogey on the seventh and eighth holes respectively and as a result slipped to even-par for the day.

Meanwhile, at the WGC-HSBC Champions, SSP Chawrasia, the lone Indian in the field, struck an opening round of even-par-72 to lie tied 48th. The lead was held by Brooks Koepka of the United States at eight-under-64.
Source: Asian Tour

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