Sun, Aug 05, 2018 - Page 11 News List

India’s Bhullar in charge after round three in Fiji


India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar yesterday took a one-stroke lead and Ernie Els surged into contention after the third round of the Fiji International.

Bhullar, who plays mainly on the Asian Tour, shot a second consecutive 69 to move to eight-under-par after three rounds, a shot clear of Australians Jake McLeod, Jarryd Felton, Terry Pilkadaris and Andrew Dodt.

New Zealand’s Ben Campbell, who led the US$1.2 million tournament by four shots after the second round, had a five-over 77 and dropped back into sixth place at six-under, a stroke ahead of Els, who carded a 69 to lie seventh, three shots off the lead.

Els produced a brilliant back nine to revive his week and sit only three shots off the lead at five-under.

He had been tied for 19th after an even-par first round of 72 and was 20th after his two-under 70 in the second round.

Bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes dropped him back to one-under, eight shots behind Campbell, who was still in front early in the third round.

However, the four-time major champion had four birdies in his last 10 holes to move into contention, as players battled high winds.

“Conditions were a little bit tougher than yesterday, obviously, but I still made a bit of a mess on the front nine,” Els said.

Els has not finished in the top 10 at a professional tournament since June 2016, and had missed cuts in his past eight tournaments.

“There is a low score out there for me,” he said. “I’m starting to hit the ball nicely, starting to get a bit more confidence in the putter, so it’s there and if it really blows tomorrow anything can happen.”

Taiwan’s Hung Chien-yao was still hanging on second from the back in 69th place with 10-over.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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