SMBC Singapore Open: Bhullar makes fine start with three-under 68

Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won twice on Asian Tour in 2016, had a rough start with bogeys on his first two holes, the 10th and 11th. But he quickly steadied himself with a birdie on 12th and an eagle on 18th in the SMBC Singapore Open on Thursday.

Bhullar was tied 11th with Philippines’ Antonio Lascuna, Miguel Tabuena and South Africa’s Jbe Kruger.   -  Getty Images

Gaganjeet Bhullar marked his first appearance in 2017 with a fine three-under 68 that positioned him tied-11th at the end of first round of the at USD 1 million SMBC Singapore Open, which heralded the start of the season for both Asian and Japan Tours, here today.

Bhullar, who won twice on Asian Tour in 2016, had a rough start with bogeys on his first two holes, the 10th and 11th. But he quickly steadied himself with a birdie on 12th and an eagle on 18th.

On the second nine, he was two-under with four birdies, including two in last three holes. Bhullar was tied 11th with Philippines’ Antonio Lascuna, Miguel Tabuena and South Africa’s Jbe Kruger.

Among other Indians, Shubhankar Sharma shot two-under 69 and was tied-24th, while Daniel Chopra (70) was tied-40th. Shiv Kapur (71) was tied-56th, Chiragh Kumar (73) was 107th and Jeev Milkha Singh (75) was way behind in 137th.

Rahil Gangjee was two-under through 10 holes, while Chikkarangappa was even par through 12 and Jyoti Randhawa was four-over through 15 holes.

Bhullar’s playing partner Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and another Japanese Satoshi Kodaira together with Korea’s Kyungnam Kang shared the lead with matching cards of six-under-par 65 each to take the clubhouse lead as play was suspended due to fading light today evening.

Play on the first day was hit by a lengthy rain delay that lasted close to two and a half hours in the afternoon and 69 players will return to complete their first round at 7.30 am tomorrow.

Tanihara, a multiple-winner on the JGTO, had seven birdies against a lone birdie to bask in the early spotlight with compatriot Kodaira and Kang, who enjoyed a flawless 65 including an eagle at the demanding par-71, 7,398-yard Serapong Course.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green signed in for 66 to share fourth place with American Seungsu Han and rising Thai star Pavit Tangkamolprasert, who birdied his last hole just before the sirens went off to signal the suspension of play.