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Golf: Gaganjeet Bhullar Makes Strong Start in Doha with 67 in First Round

Gaganjeet Bhullar

Gaganjeet Bhullar

The other Indians in the field, SSP Chawrasia (70) and Shubhankar Sharma (71) endured mixed luck and were lying T-57 and T-68 after the first 18 holes.

Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar got off to his best start on the European Tour in over a year as he carded a four-under 67 in the opening round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters here. Bhullar, the winner of the Fiji Open in 2018, was Tied-10th after the first round, which was incomplete on Thursday night.

The other Indians in the field, SSP Chawrasia (70) and Shubhankar Sharma (71) endured mixed luck and were lying T-57 and T-68 after the first 18 holes. Scotland’s David Law carded the joint-lowest round of his European Tour career to take the lead.

The 29-year-old signed for a seven-under 64 holding a one stroke lead after a bogey-free first round. Law was ahead of Italy’s Nino Bertasio, Hennie Du Plessis of South Africa, England’s Richard McEvoy and Kalle Samooja of Finland. Bhullar, who won the Tour Championship on the Indian PGTI Tour in December, started on the 10th and had a modest first nine with one birdie against two bogeys.

But he had five birdies on the second nine, the front side of the Education City Golf Club, which affords excellent views of one of the spectacular stadiums, which will host some matches in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The last time Bhullar had a 67 to start with was at the Open de Espana in October 2019, but missed the cut after a 78 in the second.

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At the Italian Open in October 2020 he opened with 68-69, but shot 72-72 over the weekend to finish T-55. Chawrasia, coming off two Top-5 finishes in India on the domestic Indian PGTI Tour, had three birdies in the space of four holes between 12th and 15th and two other bogeys in his one-under 70.

Sharma started on 10th and had three birdies in first five holes before the birdies ran out as he bogeyed four times and had only one more birdie to finish even par.

first published:March 12, 2021, 12:28 IST