With two Asian Tour victories under his belt this season, the 24-year-old Bhullar ended the day in equal 10th place on 11-under-par 202, tying the likes of 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods and inaugural CIMB champion Ben Crane.
He will enter the final day trailing joint leaders Bo Van Pelt, who shot a stunning 62, and Robert Garrigus by five shots at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
The talented Indian, currently fifth on the Order of Merit, peppered the flags with sharp iron play as he rolled in seven birdies including four on a trot from eighth hole in the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
His only blemish came on 12 but Bhullar remained bullish of his title hopes as he chases the top prize of US$1.3 million.
“I hit the ball good and pretty close but the lucky charm was my putter. The game plan was pretty simple, I hit all 14 fairways and hit 18 greens in regulation. I told myself to keep hitting fairways and be calm and patient on the greens,” he said.
“It always inspires me when you play in such big tournaments and see your name on the leaderboard. It is a good feeling and it gives you goose bumps. It is a star studded field and everybody is trying to win the tournament,” added Bhullar.
He is not feeling the effects of playing in his ninth straight tournament on the Asian Tour and is aiming for a final round charge and a debut victory in the CIMB Classic.
“I always say golf is a funny game and anything is possible. Guys are shooting 59 and 61 so you never know. The guys on the top have won so many tournaments internationally so they know how it feels being inside the ropes,” he said.
With the heat scorching the course at the Mines Resort, Bhullar put his experience of playing in Malaysia to good use as he stayed hydrated and calm in the humidity. “You have to be careful of what you eat. You can’t eat junk food in this type of weather and drink lots of water.”