02 March, 2019: Gaganjeet Bhullar of India bounced back to the top cards of the leaderboard through the rough windy conditions in the second round. Joachim B. Hansen and Maximilian Kieffer shared the lead as more high winds made for a very difficult morning of scoring on day three of the weather delayed Oman Open.
Bhullar scored three-under-par 69 with five birdies and two bogeys in the second round. He started his second round from back nine on day two and carded three birdies before the play got suspended due to bad weather. Front nine, which he resumed on the morning hours of day three was unpleasant with two birdies and equal number of bogeys hit his scorecard.
Bhullar with his four-under-par 140 total trailing the lead just by one shot at T3. Other Indian golfer Shubhankar Sharma shot two over 74 and lying at T32.
Kieffer was one of just 11 players to complete their second circuit on Friday and he fired a 70 to get to five under before the wind brought sandstorms and an early end to play.
Dane Hansen was a shot ahead when the hooter sounded but he dropped a shot as he completed his final two holes on Saturday to drop into a share.
The winds were strong once again but playable at Al Mouj Golf, and South African Brandon Stone fired a superb round of 70 to sit at four under alongside India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, American Kurt Kitayama and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti – all of whom returned to complete their second rounds.
Hansen – last season’s European Challenge Tour Rankings winner – had got to nine under on Friday morning but went double bogey-bogey on the fourth and fifth and dropped another shot on the eighth upon the resumption to sign for a 69.
Kieffer had shared the lead at seven under on Friday with birdies on the second, third, seventh and 12th and, while he dropped shots on the 14th and 17th in a 70, the conditions helped bring the field back to him.
Stone played his entire second round on day three and after a birdie on the first, he holed a stunning bunker shot on the fourth and made an up-and-down on the seventh to share the lead.
It’s not playing very easy, it was windy and getting gusty too. The pins are difficult on firm greens, so I’m pleased with two under – Maximilian Kieffer
A Rolex Series winner at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, he got on the green at the par five 12th in two to hit the front on his own but bogeyed the 14th and last.
Kitayama started the day on the fifth, where he had put his ball in the water before the hooter sounded on Friday, and he recorded a double bogey before parring his way home for a 74.
Bhullar had eight holes left to play in round two and he jumped into the lead with birdies on the second and third but fell back with bogeys on the sixth and eighth in a 69.
Zanotti had bogeyed the 14th before play was stopped but he bounced back with a birdie upon the resumption and finished with three pars for a 69 of his own.
French trio Victor Dubuisson, Benjamin Hebert and Clément Sordet, Norway’s Espen Kofstad, Irishman Gavin Moynihan, Chilean Hugo Leon and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara were three shots off the lead.