Bhullar rises but South African Aiken leads at Avantha Masters

Greater Noida: Gaganjeet Bhullar was in the hunt for a top-five finish but an Indian winner looks unlikely at the Avantha Masters where South African debutant Thomas Aiken became an unlikely sole leader with a stunning card of 10-under 62 in the third and penultimate round of the USD 2.3 million golf event here today.

Bhullar`s five-under 67 was the best performance by an Indian today and his five birdies - two on the front and three on the back-nine - fetched him a share of the eighth position with a three-day total of 12-under 204.

"It was much better than previous two days. I have been hitting the ball consistently well, and even finding a lot of greens. I had a lot of greens in regulation. It was 17 yesterday and again 17 today. I missed only one green in regulation today. But the putts have not fallen," Bhullar said of his game so far.

"However, it was better today as compared to the first two days. Hopefully it will get even better tomorrow. But the positive I am taking from today`s round is that I had no bogeys. Anytime you shoot four-five birdies and no bogeys it feels good.

"Today on the eighth, I had a superb 40-50 footer for birdie and then on the par-five 15th, I was sitting on six-foot eagle, but I just missed it closely. Overall I am looking to having a good final day and do better," he added.

Also in contention for a good finish at the richest golf event in India is the seasoned Jeev Milkha Singh.

The Chandigarh-pro, who signed off tied 43rd last year, looks good enough to better that performance after a three-under 69, comprising six birdies and three bogeys, left him tied 17th with a total of 10-under 206.

Jeev was not quite happy with the way things panned out today blaming the three bogeys on aggression.

"I am getting the birdies alright, but I am also dropping too many bogeys. In three days I have dropped eight bogeys and that`s just too much. I had as many as six birdies today, but I gave back three of them," he said.