Indian troika miss out at Made in Denmark

Gaganjeet Bhullar, Ajeetesh Sandhu and SSP Chawrasia suffered the cut. Christiaan Bezuidenhout shot a brilliant 65 to earn a two-stroke advantage

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Ajeetesh Sandhu trails the lead by three strokes at rd 1 of Hero Indian Open 2018

01 September 2018: In the first round on Thursday, Indians Gaganjeet Bhullar, SSP Chawrasia and Ajeetesh Sandhu had a rocky start that yielded scores of 73, 74 and 75 respectively. Facing the blade, each of our golfers played much better in the second round, but it wasn’t enough to squeeze into the weekend. Christiaan Bezuidenhout produced a timely 65 to rise to the top of the leaderboard. He is leading Jonathan Thomson and Lee Westwood into the weekend at the Silkeborg Ry Golf Club in Aarhus.

Christian Bezuidenhout during the first round of Made in Denmark - Pic: European Tour
Christian Bezuidenhout during the first round of Made in Denmark – Pic: European Tour

Bezuidenhout is at 13-under through 36 holes with Westwood and Thomson chasing from two back. Sam Horsfield is at 10-under with Thomas Detry and Matthew Baldwin trailing by another stroke.

“The course is playing quite soft so you can attack the flags and be very aggressive. I have played aggressive the last two days and was driving the ball brilliantly and the putter was working well which is a good combination,” said Bezuidenhout. “I made a driver change last week as I was struggling with the driver and that has been all the difference.

“It’s been great to feel some confidence coming back into my game and hopefully I can keep going from here because I have some work to do to keep my European Tour card. If I keep playing the way I have been for the last few days then I am hopeful that I can get the results.

“I have actually been playing well but either just missing cuts or not making good progress at the weekend to kick on and get better results but hopefully this good play will continue from here.”

The man in form, Matt Wallace is lying T7 at 8-under with Hunter Stewart. There are twelve players at 7-under including Thomas Pieters and Lucas Bjerregaard.

The cut fell at two under. Bhullar and Sandhu fell two short of the number at 144, while Chawrasia was a further two strokes back at two over 146.

Ajeetesh played a solid round on Friday. Starting on the 10th, the young man put his card on fire with an eagle at the par-4 12th hole. Another birdie at the 14th helped him to three under for the round and to even terms with the course.

At the 411-yard, par-4 16th hole, Ajeetesh conceded his first bogey of the day. But he made the turn in 34 strokes, three better through the same stretch on Thursday.

Any chances of making the weekend seemed to evaporate at the par-4 second hole. Ajeetesh stumbled to a double-bogey at the444-yard second.

But he showed great character to fight back with spirit and purpose. Ajeetesh produced a battling birdie at the 4th, before adding consecutive birdies at the 7th and 8th holes.

Bhullar had a similar tale to narrate. He fought with both hands on Friday, only to fall short at the end. Bhullar made eight pars to begin his day before a bogey at the 18th damaged his card right on the bend.

He made three birdies on his way to the clubhouse, but also conceded another bogey at the fifth to surrender any hopes of making the weekend.

Chawrasia was two under twelve holes, but late bogeys left him bleeding and disappointed. The man from Kolkata addressed a bogey at the 12th with a nice birdie at the 18th to stay even on the day.

Birdies at the first and third raised hopes as Chawrasia improved to even terms with the course. But bogeys at 4, 6 & 9, punctuated by a birdie at the 8th meant he signed on an even 72. At two over, he departed Denmark with another missed cut.

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