Bhullar Storms Back

Sun 16 Sep 2012

Bhullar Storms Back

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Taipei, September 16: India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar had two closing birdies to thank for giving him the second round lead when play finally resumed at the weather-shortened Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Indian battled to a three-under-par 69 to take a slender shot advantage over 14-time Asian Tour winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand after compiling a two-day total of nine-under-par 135 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Thaworn took second place when he signed for the round’s lowest score of 66 to pile the pressure on Bhullar while Berry Henson and Jason Knutzon of the United States returned with a 68 and 71 respectively to share third place.
Starting the day in equal second place, Bhullar got off to a commanding start with an opening birdie, followed by an eagle on the fifth hole. He dropped a shot on the seventh before reaching the turn with a three-shot lead over the chasing pack.
Bhullar appeared to be cruising home after marking his card with another birdie on the 10th hole.
However, a double-bogey six on the 14th led to some anxious moments for the two-time Asian Tour winner.
“I hit it to the right of the woods and laid it up short of the green. The lie was too fluffy and my club just went underneath. I was four-on and then I had like a five-footer to save five but I missed that,” said Bhullar.
Two birdies on the 17th and 18th holes however managed to provide that much-needed relief for Bhullar.
“Trust me. The last two birdies were definitely much needed to ease the pressure. I played well today considering the last two days I was just sitting in my room and couldn’t do anything,” said Bhullar.
Although Bhullar is standing on the verge of winning his third Asian Tour title with 18 holes to play, he remains wary of Thaworn who lurks closely.
“The final 18 is going to be interesting as it has been a long time since I last played with Thaworn,” said Bhullar.
Meanwhile Thaworn believes he can stage a comeback worthy of his proud standing as a 14-time Asian Tour winner.
“It was a good day and looking ahead to tomorrow, there’s still everything to play for. I’ve been in this position before and I’m not feeling any pressure,” said Thaworn.
The Thai ace opened with a 70 but was quick to make up grounds with a performance that was highlighted by an eagle, five birdies and a bogey.
“It was nice to be able to come back and play again today. The weather’s nice and cool and it helped in making me play well,” said Thaworn.
By his own admission, Henson has been struggling to regain the form that led him to his maiden title in the Philippines last year.
The avid dancer has however managed to show everyone that he can dance just as well as he plays on the golf course.
“I had some unbelievable par saves and they’ve been keeping me right where I am now. If I can keep it in the fairways, avoid the big mess, keep plotting my way along, I’ll be pretty tough to beat,” said Henson.
Henson found an entertaining way of keeping himself occupied when play was abandoned on Saturday by starring in a Gangnam music video he is planning to produce.
“It’s good to show that we are more than just some golf professionals hitting balls on the golf course. There are lots of personalities on Tour and it’s nice to bring everyone together through this video which everyone can watch and have a good time,” said Henson.
When calmer weather returned in the morning, Knutzon continued where he left off by making his way up the leaderboard despite having to fight off lethargy.
“It’s tough to get back into the swing of things again because it has been a long time but you just have to keep going at it, keep swinging it and hopefully everything falls into place,” said the American, who returned in the morning to complete eight holes.
The cut was set at three-over-par with 76 players making the cut.
The third and final round of the Yeangder TPC will played on Monday after inclement weather on Saturday forced play to be abandoned and left tournament officials with no choice but to reduce the US$500,000 event into a 54-stroke play tournament.
Scores after round 2 of the Yeangder TPC being played at the par 72, 7125 Yards Yeangder TPC course (a- denotes amateur):
135 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 66-69.
136 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-66.
137 - Jason KNUTZON (USA) 66-71, Berry HENSON (USA) 69-68.
139 - David LIPSKY (USA) 72-67, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 71-68.
140 - YEH Wei-tze (TPE) 68-72, Gavin FLINT (AUS) 70-70, Angelo QUE (PHI) 65-75.
141 - HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 72-69, Himmat RAI (IND) 71-70, SUNG Mao-chang (TPE) 74-67, Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA) 74-67, Mars PUCAY (PHI) 72-69, KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 70-71, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 69-72, WU Wen-ting (TPE) 74-67.
Selected scores
142 -, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 68-74.
143 - Kieran PRATT (AUS) 73-70, CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 72-71, Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 72-71
Ends
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.