$970,000 Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways fifth edition saw its opening round unveiling at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course today (late night as per IST). The current joint leaders Jarryd Felton, Nicholas Cullen, and Andrew Dodt (all three from Australia) stand at 5-under-67.
Interestingly in the past four editions of the event, there has been an equal number of winners from Australia and the USA, and thrice it has been won with a margin of four-strokes, only once in 2016, it was won with 9-strokes over Michael Hendry by Brandt Snedeker.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar who has had quite a good 2018 so far for himself finished T-6 with a two-under-70, three off of the joint leaders with four birdies and two bogeys, coming on the last nine (11th and 18th holes). By the time of publishing, he dropped to T-8 due to other players still finishing.
He is joined by Harry Bateman, Matthew Perry, Michael Hendry (2016 runner-up), Justin Walters, Terry Pilkadaris, Lucas Herbert, and the local hope Sam Lee.
Bhullar’s round saw him getting a fairway hit average of 64.29% and 44.44% for greens in regulation, stats which are not enough for him as he always looks to improve on these factors, his Royal Cup stats stand at 83.29% for fairway hits and 76.39% for greens in regulation, so we definitely will see him rise up to the occasion and post better stats in upcoming rounds.
His last win came at the 2017 Macao Open, where defeated Ajeetesh Sandhu and Angelo Que with three-strokes for his second Macao Open Title.
With his eight wins on the Asian Tour, Bhullar now matches the Indian record for the most win on the Asian Tour of eight-titles with Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa.
Bhullar’s last victory at the event came in 2012 when he defeated Jonathan Moore by two strokes and Shiv Kapur shared fifth-spot with Johannes Veerman on the board.