Taipei: Gaganjeet Bhullar made a birdie-birdie finish to take a slender one-shot lead into the third and final round of the weather-shorted Yeangder Tournament Players Championship, on Sunday.
When the second round finally ended this afternoon, Bhullar had carded a second round 69 to add to his 66 in first round to take his total to nine-under 135.
The 24-year-old Indian was one ahead of 14-time Asian Tour winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who shot the round’s lowest score of 66 to get to eight-under 136 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Berry Henson (68) and Jason Knutzon (71) of the US shared third place at seven-under 137.
Himmat Rai (70) moved up from 20th to 10th at three-under 141, but Anirban Lahiri (74) slipped from fifth to tied 18th at two-under 142.
Chiragh Kumar (70) moved up to tied 32nd from tied 82nd at even par 144, while Ajeetesh Sandhu (74) was tied 62nd at three-over. The cut was set at three-over-par with 76 players making the cut.
The third and final round of the Yeangder TPC will be played on Monday after inclement weather on Saturday forced play to be abandoned and left tournament officials with no choice but to reduce the $500,000 event into a 54-stroke play tournament.
Starting the day in equal second place, Bhullar got off to a commanding start with an opening birdie, followed by an eagle on the fourth hole. He dropped a shot on the seventh hole before reaching the turn with a two-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 hole 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.