Gaganjeet Bhullar made a solid start to his year, finishing tied 27th in the USD 7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first event of the season on the European Tour, on Saturday.
The 30-year-old from Kapurthala shot an even-par 72 in his final round to tally seven-under par 281 for the tournament, which was won by Ireland’s Shane Lowry (71) after an epic battle with Richard Sterne of South Africa.
Sterne (69) started the day three shots behind Lowry, but birdied four of his first five holes to get off to a hot start. He led by four shots after 12 holes, but closed with two bogeys while Lowry made three birdies coming in.
In Singapore, S Chikkarangappa and Arjun Atwal were the only Indians left in the fray at the weather-hit SMBC Singapore Open with the likes of Shiv Kapur, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Rahil Gangjee, Khalin Joshi and Viraj Madappa missing the cut while Jeev Milkha Singh and Om Prakash Chouhan withdrawing after the first round.
Chikka, who was lying tied-6th midway through the second round, added a third round 72, with just one bogey and no birdies. He is now tied-26th. Atwal, who shot 67-73 in the first two rounds, added a 70 in the third and is now tied-36th. After starting from the 10th, Atwal had back-to-back bogeys on 12th and 13th.
Japan’s Yoshinori Fujimoto had a closing birdie which gave him the outright lead after he signed for a third round five-under-par 66. The Japanese’s three-day total of 13-under-par 200 gave him a slender one-shot advantage over Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick who posted rounds of 65 and 66 respectively at the season-opening event of the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).