Kalle Samooja, Scott Hend (Top Inset) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (Inset). Pics: Getty Images and Filepic
Nairobi, Kenya, March 19: Gaganjeet Bhullar slipped in the second round with 1-over 72 but made the cut at the Magical Kenya Open on Friday. Bhullar, a one-time winner on the European Tour, is now 4-under through 36 holes and is placed T-37 at the Karen Country Club.
Bhullar, who was the runner-up at the Qatar Masters last week, had four birdies, but he gave away as many as five bogeys and dropped from overnight T-9 to T-37.
Kalle Samooja (65-66) of Finland and Australian Scott Hend (67-64) shared the lead at the halfway mark.
India’s other two stars, Shubhankar Sharma (73-70) and SSP Chawrasia (74-72) missed the halfway cut once again.
The Finn has had three top ten finishes in his last ten European Tour starts and a five under par 66 at Karen Country Club leaves him alongside Australia’s Scott Hend on 11 under par heading into the weekend.
Since graduating from the Challenge Tour ahead of the 2019 season, Samooja has impressed with two runner-up finished on the European Tour, and will now look to secure a first win at this level.
In stark contrast to Samooja, 47-year-old Hend came into the week having missed seven cuts in his last eight events but a joint best of the week 64 moved him into contention for a fourth European Tour title.
Hend looked like snatching the outright lead when he made his eighth birdie of the day on the 17th, but, like Samooja, he bogeyed the last.
Scottish pair Connor Syme and Richie Ramsay share third on ten under with South African Dean Burmester, with the latter’s compatriot Justin Harding, Scotland’s Calum Hill, American Kurt Kitayama and France’s Raphaël Jacquelin on nine under.