Jakarta: Gaganjeet Bhullar of India will hold a two-shot advantage when he continues his battle with Jeev Milkha Singh on Monday at the weather-hit BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open.
Bhullar, a six-time Asian Tour winner, was 16-under through 15 holes but Singh continued to pile the pressure on his countryman before a thunderstorm at 1.05pm forced officials to suspend the game.
An official announcement was made to stop play for the day at 4.30pm with a total of 19 players returning on Monday at 6.15am to finish the final round at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and Panuphol Pittayarat are tied on 13-under with one more hole to play while Dodge Kemmer of the United States fired a 65 to end his campaign on a 276 total at the Pantai Indah Golf Course.
Trailing overnight leader Singh by a single shot, Bhullar took control of the tournament by hitting five birdies in seven holes. He slipped back with a bogey on hole 13 but will hold an edge heading into the last three holes.
“When we play in this part of the world, situations like this are expected. I’m going to treat Monday like Sunday. Mentally I have to tell my mind that I’m getting ready for a Sunday instead of a Monday finish!
“It is always good to be under the gun. That’s when you real play comes out. I’m looking forward to the remainder of the round,” said the 28-year-old Bhullar, who won his sixth Asian Tour title in Korea last month.
“This doesn’t change my game plan. As I said, I’ll just try and repeat the same thing over and over. Looking at the situation, I was totally warmed up and in a good momentum. I’m feeling good so I expect to score in the last three holes,” he added.
Singh, a two-time Asian Tour number one, hit a poor tee shot on the 16th hole before the sirens blared and will need to regroup as he searches for a first victory since 2012. A pair of birdies on holes 13 and 14 will give the Indian some hope on Monday.
“My poor drive will give Gaganjeet the edge now because he can relax and think about things. I was putting the heat on him but now he can put things in perspective,” said Singh, who has won 14 titles around the world.
“It is tough to replicate that Sunday feeling because Monday is usually your day off. I started pushing on the back nine. I think it was going in the right way until the rain came and everything was put on hold. At least I have a chance to win so it will be exciting,” said the 44-year-old.
Asian Tour Tournament Director Jittisak Tamprasert said: “The decision to extend the tournament to Monday was decided after discussing with sponsors and officials. It was a decision made in the best interest of the tournament as we experienced numerous weather suspensions during the week.”
Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) -16 through 15 holes
Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) -14 through 15 holes
Danthai BOONMA (THA) -13 through 17 holes
Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) -13 through 17 holes
Scores after round 4 of the Bank BRI-JCB Indonesia Open 2016 being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah GC course (am - denotes amateur):
276 - Dodge KEMMER (USA) 71-69-71-65.
277 - Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 69-68-74-66, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 70-69-70-68.
278 - Janne KASKE (FIN) 68-67-75-68.
279 - Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 73-70-68-68, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 70-70-69-70.
280 - Nicolas PAEZ (USA) 68-71-71-70, Adam GROOM (AUS) 70-65-74-71, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-67-73-71.