Another top-5 finish for consistent Bhullar in Indonesia

Gaganjeet Bhullar earned yet another top-5 finish, at the $ 500,000 Bank BRI Indonesia Open here on Sunday, but a victory continued to elude the Indian golfer.

Bhullar, who has won before in Indonesia in 2013 and 2016, began strongly with three birdies in the first six holes, but dropped a shot on eighth. On the back nine he played aggressively.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Gaganjeet Bhullar earned yet another top-5 finish, at the $ 500,000 Bank BRI Indonesia Open here on Sunday, but a victory continued to elude the Indian golfer. The 30-year-old, who has time and again put himself in contention in the last weeks, did so yet again.

However, in the end despite a fourth successive round in the 60s, he ended three shots behind Justin Harding of South Africa. Harding carded a one-under-par 71 to win his maiden Asian Tour title.

After T-2 in Korea and then sole second in Queens Cup and T-11 in Sarawak, Bhullar was sole fifth this week.

Compatriot Udayan Mane (70) was T-6 and Khalin Joshi (71) was T-13.

Among other Indians, Honey Baisoya (69) was T-40, Jyoti Randhawa (76) T-50, Chiragh Kumar (70), Himmat Rai (73) 68th and Shiv Kapur (75) T-70.

Bhullar, who has won before in Indonesia in 2013 and 2016, began strongly with three birdies in the first six holes, but dropped a shot on eighth. On the back nine he played aggressively.

Bhullar said, “It was a solid round of golf. I made a few good birdies. Most of them were tricky putts. I was looking at the leaderboard and motivating myself to get up there. For the final few holes, I was particularly aggressive because I was hitting the ball well.”

He was happy about his swing and added, “My swing is on the way to being fixed. I see plenty of progressions and the goal is to be really consistent and get to my peak really soon. I’m working really hard.”

Mane, who had five birdies but three successive bogeys from eighth to 10th, said, “A top-five finish is always great, but I’m not happy about what happened during the middle of the round.

“The wind affected my play on the eighth. On the ninth, I put myself in a decent position but I three-putted. At the 10th, I was so upset with my bogeys so I skipped my thought process and three-putted.”

He went on, “I’m close to a win. I have a blueprint of my scoring capabilities on this Tour.”

Harding, 32, who missed only three greens-in-regulation before the final round, uncharacteristically dropped two shots on holes seven and eight. He bounced back when it mattered with two birdies before emerging victorious with 18-under-par 270 at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.

Atwal gives away early gains as Kim leads by five shots in John Deere

Indian golfer Arjun Atwal frittered away his good work in the first 10 holes, making three bogeys on the back nine and finishing the third round in 1-under 70 at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, U.S.

At 4-under 209, he was tied 62nd.

Atwal, playing only his third event on the PGA Tour in the current season, started from the tenth and had three birdies in a row from 14th to 16th and a fourth on the first when he turned for his second nine.

But bogeys on the third, fourth and seventh took away much of those gains.

Michael Kim celebrated his 25th birthday profitably as he moved to within one round of his first PGA TOUR victory. Kim took a five-shot lead as the third round was delayed twice for almost four hours because of bad weather and concerns over lightning.

Bronson Burgoon (66) was 17 under and Australian Matt Jones (66) was 16 under. Harold Varner III (66) was alone in fourth at 15 under. Andres Romero of Argentina was 14 under after shooting 64, as was Sam Ryder (67).

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