Bhullar tied 3rd in Brunei Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Gaganjeet Bhullar put himself in contention for a 2nd successive Asian Tour title after returning a blemish-free seven-under 64 in the penultimate round.

Updated: August 01, 2009 10:51 IST
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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei:

Gaganjeet Bhullar put himself in contention for a second successive Asian Tour title after returning a blemish-free seven-under 64 in the penultimate round to take a share of the third spot at the Brunei Open here on Saturday.

Bhullar made the biggest move of the day by storming up the leaderboard to the tied third place after starting at tied-21st. He is tied with Australia's Scott Barr and Korea's Ted Oh on matching 11-under 202s.

With the possibility of becoming the first player on the Asian Tour to win back-to-back victories this season, the Indian talent is now banking on the mental strength that he has acquired over the years to win his second title in two weeks.

"The thing is to keep everything simple and one thing that has worked for me is to keep my mind relaxed," said the 21-year-old, who reeled off seven birdies today.

"I think I've become a better player after playing the Open in Turnberry. My mental vision towards my goal has definitely changed a lot. Playing on the Asian Tour has also helped me a lot as it taught me how to keep myself in contention week after week," he added.

Meanwhile, compatriot Chinnaswamy Muniyappa set a new course record after firing a sparkling 62 that left him tied sixth just a stroke behind Bhullar overall.

The 32-year-old from Bangalore notched his best score of the week after rounds of 69 and 72.

"This is definitely my strongest start since I turned professional. I always knew that I could play golf well and today's round has really shown what I'm capable of," said Muniyappa.

Among other Indians, Chragh Kumar was tied 26th after carding 68 that left his total at five-under 208. Anirban Lahiri (70) rose a rung to tied 35th with a total of three-under 210.

Further down, veteran Gaurav Ghei shared the 53rd spot after carding a 72. Ghei has a total of even-par 213.

Leading third round scores:

200 - Boonchu Ruangkit (THA) 65-71-64

201 - Jay Bayron (PHI) 69-65-67

202 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 67-71-64, Ted Oh (KOR) 64-70-68, Scott Barr (AUS) 66-67-69

203 - C. Muniyappa (IND) 69-72-62, Lu Chien-soon (TPE), 65-71-67, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 71-64-68, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 65-71-67.

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