Bhullar, Cheema take lead in Chandigarh Open : The Tribune India

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Bhullar, Cheema take lead in Chandigarh Open

Bhullar, Cheema take lead in Chandigarh Open

Angad Cheema and Gaganjeet Bhulllar (right) in action at Chandigarh Golf Club. Ravi Kumar

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5

Local golfers Gaganjeet Bhullar and Angad Cheema were ahead in the title race as they enjoyed a two-shot advantage at the end of round three of the Rs 1 crore Chandigarh Open 2024 hosted by Chandigarh Golf Club.

Playing at their home course, Bhullar and Cheema were tied for the lead at 17-under 199, having shot rounds of seven-under 65 and six-under 66, respectively. Mysuru’s Yashas Chandra registered a 68 to end the day in third place at 15-under 201.

Gurugram-based Dhruv Sheoran produced the day’s best score of 64 to jump 10 spots to fourth place at 14-under 202, while Jeev Milkha Singh struck a 72 to be tied 33rd at two-under 214.

Bhullar (67-67-65), who began the day one shot off the lead in fourth place, suffered an early setback when he bogeyed the first hole after finding the trees. Gaganjeet, a winner of 12 international titles, then roared back with a flurry of birdies on the second, third, fourth and sixth including two long conversions.

The 35-year-old Bhullar, who was in good ball-striking form, came up with an eagle and three birdies at the cost of a lone bogey on the back-nine. The highlight of his round was his third shot on the 16th that he holed out from 55 yards for an eagle.

Bhullar, now staring at his third title at the Chandigarh Golf Club, said: “I had a shaky start, but came back quick that gave me the momentum. I then just kept on hitting fairways and created birdie opportunities. I had a really good closing stretch that always helps going into the next round. “It’s been a week of solid ball-striking for me and I’ll look to repeat that in round four. I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways and that has in turn given me confidence of also landing it close to the flag. Making crucial putts has also helped my cause.”

Cheema (66-67-66), the overnight joint leader, maintained his grip on the proceedings with five birdies on the first eight holes that included a 30-feet conversion on the first and a splendid tee shot that landed a foot and a half from the pin on the third.

He then had a quiet phase as he bogeyed the ninth and made pars on the next seven holes. The 34-year-old then pulled it back towards the end with birdies on the 17th and 18th making a 25-footer on the latter to tie Bhullar for the lead. Cheema, looking to end his 11-year-long victory drought, said: “I was steady throughout. I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing and that’s the reason my ball-striking has been quite consistent.”

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