Aamby Valley, Maharashtra, May 8, 2009: Gaganjeet Bhullar produced a six under 66 in round three of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Aamby Valley Golf Club to extend his lead to nine strokes. Bhullar (66, 67, 66) now has an overall score of 17 under 199. Harmeet Kahlon (73, 64, 71), who returned one under 71 on Friday, is currently placed second at eight under 208.Gaganjeet Bhullar, the leader for the third successive day, put up a solid effort in the third round to establish himself as the firm favourite for the title. Gaganjeet began his penultimate round with a bang, picking up birdies on the second and third holes. When he sank his third birdie on the seventh, he looked all set for a very low score yet again.
Bhullar’s lone bogey on the 11th seemed to come against the run of play. However, he soon started pulling away from the rest of the pack as he birdied the 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th.
“I was struggling a bit with my driving on the first few holes but then started hitting it better as the round progressed. A few pin positions on the back nine were not easy to negotiate but I think I played really well on those particular holes. The par three 15th is one of my favourite holes on this course. I have birdied the 15th on all three occasions this week,” said Bhullar.
He went on to add, “The birdie on the 17th was special as despite the headwind I hit my nine iron approach shot from 155 yards to within seven feet of the flag and then converted a tricky birdie putt. My score could’ve been even better today had I not misread a few short putts on the 10th, 12th and 18th. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy with my round today and will look to drive home the advantage tomorrow.” Harmeet Kahlon had a sedate round on Friday as compared to his record-breaking effort of eight under 64 in round two. The Chandigarh golfer’s 71 included birdies on the third, fourth, seventh, 13th, 14th and bogeys on the second, eighth, 12th and 18th.
Kahlon said, “My putting was stronger today in comparison to my hitting. I also hit it close on a number of occasions. After dropping a bogey on the second, I did well to recover with birdies on the third, fourth and seventh. Looking ahead to the final round I hope to play well as I really fancy my chances of making birdies on the par fives here.”
Delhi’s Arjun Singh (71, 72, 68) climbed from tied eighth to tied third as a result of his four under 68 in round three. His total reads five under 211. Vikrant Chopra (69, 72, 70), another Delhi golfer, fired two under 70 on Friday to join Arjun Singh in tied third place.
Nabin Mandal (four under 212) of Kolkata is a further stroke behind in fifth position.
Mukesh Kumar is tied ninth at one under 215. Pravin Pathare is the highest-placed professional from Pune at tied 35th. His score stands at seven over 223. Rajiv Datar of Pune is in tied 38th place with an overall score of eight over 224.