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Bangkok, Thailand, 19 May 2017

Gaganjeet Bhullar moves into joint lead, Jeev Milkha Singh skyrockets to tied fifth with a 63

India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar followed up his first round 65 with an equally impressive five-under-66 in round two of the Asian Tour’s Thailand Open, to move up three spots from his overnight tied fourth, into the joint lead at 11-under-131 along with local favourite Rattanon Wannasrichan.
 
Jeev Milkha Singh’s blemish-free eight-under-63 was the other big story for India on day two of the US$300,000 event. Jeev occupied tied fifth at eight-under-134 as a result of his fabulous second round effort.
 
Starting the day with a three-shot deficit, the 29-year-old Bhullar traded six birdies against one bogey to move atop the leaderboard at the scenic Thai Country Club.
 
Gaganjeet said, "I pretty much played the same way like I played yesterday. I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities. I made six birdies yesterday and six birdies today. I just made one mistake on the eighth hole today and that’s about it.

"I hit more greens in regulation yesterday and I missed a few today. It wasn’t as windy today. It was pretty calm out there. I had quite a few good birdies. I got off to a good start with a birdie on the first.

"I made a really good one on 15. The pin position was really tough. I drove a seven iron to about 12 to 14 feet. It was a right to left big curler, definitely one of the highlights for me today.

"When you get off to a good start, it gives you a lot of confidence and momentum going into the round. I just stayed consistent out there. I am happy to be in a good position right now. There are a lot of good players playing this week.

"There is still a lot more golf to go but I would like to keep myself motivated for the weekend. I started the season quite well. I played well but didn’t score quite well. I had two top-20 finishes. Nothing fantastic but it was a decent start to the season."
 
Jeev, who had returned a sedate even-par-71 in round one, took a giant stride of 43 spots from his overnight tied 48th place on Friday as a result of his scintillating round of eight-under.
 
Singh said, "It has been a while since I have shot a 63. In fact, I can’t remember when I last shot a 63. When you shoot a score like that, you just hope to build on it.

"I tried something new this week. I have been struggling with my driver. I started to ground the driver after I won the Scottish Open in 2012.  Before that, I used to have it up in the air before hitting the ball.

"I gave it some thoughts this week and I decided to switch back to how I used to play. To my surprise, I am driving the ball a lot better now. It has given me a lot of confidence. Other than that, I am hitting my irons good and my short game is alright.

"Everything fell in place today. I drove the ball really solid and I holed a lot of putts. I made a good birdie on the second hole today. My ball landed on the slope of the bunker and I didn’t have a shot there. I pitched it to the green and ran it to about four feet and holed that for birdie.

"I had another good birdie on the difficult par-three sixth hole. I hit a four-iron to just over the pin and holed the putt there. I was three-under after nine and I thought I might as well go all out, enjoy the game and see how low I can get. I was trying to shoot as low as possible and it went my way.

"I like this course. I have played a lot of tournaments here since early 2000. It’s a fantastic venue and it’s in excellent conditions. I will do the same thing for tomorrow and try to stick to what I have been working on and we will see what comes around."
 
Both Shiv Kapur (70-67) and Shankar Das (71-67) carded scores of four-under-67 to also make major gains on day two. While Kapur gained eight places to be in tied 23rd at five-under-137, Das moved up 14 positions to be tied 30th at four-under-138.

Rookie Arjun Prasad (70-69) came up with a creditable 69 on Friday to end the round in tied 38th at three-under-139.

Among the other Indians who made the halfway cut of one-under-141, were Khalin Joshi, Himmat Rai, Chiragh Kumar and Shubhankar Sharma (all in tied 50th at two-under-140) as well as Chikkarangappa (tied 66th at one-under-141).


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