Natadola Bay, Fiji: Gaganjeet Bhullar recovered from a shaky start to card 3-under 69 and moved up to Tied-5th at the midway stage of the 5th edition of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways. Bhullar added 69 to his first round to get to 5-under. He is six shots behind the runaway leader Kiwi Ben Campbell, who shot 67 after his first round 66 to get to 11-under.
Of the four Indians in the field, Ajeetesh Sandhu (73-73) was the only other one to make the cut, while Shiv Kapur (80-72) and Chiragh Kumar (77-80) missed out.
Bhullar on his maiden visit to Fiji is enjoying some unexpected fan following. “Bula” in Fiji means “Hello” and it rhymes well with his surname. The 8-time Asian Tour winner, smiled and said, “Every time I’m here (at the golf course), every third person is calling out my surname, “Bula, Bula.” It’s very good. I’m enjoying myself. My wife is here and we are enjoying ourselves, having a great time. It’s a great place.”
Campbell, whose sole professional win came earlier this year at the NZ PGA on Australasian Tour, shot 33-33 on either side of the turn and he may well have been a shot better but for his sole bogey on the 18th.
Right behind him is Australian Andrew Dodt (67-70) in sole second at 7-under 137, while two other Australians Terry Pilkadaris (70-68) and Jarryd Felton (67-71) are Tied-3rd at 6-under 138. Bhullar and six others are Tied-5th at 5-under 139.
On his round, Bhullar said, “I had a shaky start to the round, I started with a bogey and then I had another bogey on No. 3. Made a really good birdie on No. 2 and a great par save on No. 4. Three-under 69 is not a great round, but I think with 36 holes to go I’m in a good position,” he said.
When Sandhu came off the course, his scores were shown wrongly as 5-under for the day on the scoreboard. He actually shot 2-over but did make the cut at 3-over at Tied-51st.