2013 Rewind: From zero to hero

Tue 02 Dec 2014

2013 Rewind: From zero to hero

  • SHARE
It was indeed a quick bounce back for India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar.
A week after finishing last in the 60-man field at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf in Australia, the talented Bhullar found himself on top of the pile by sealing his fifth Asian Tour victory at the Indonesia Open.
The manner in which Bhullar triumphed marked him out as a true champion as the 25-year-old showed he was made of stern stuff with an outstanding performance in a country which holds dearly to his heart.
The dashing Indian showed no ill-effects of his World Cup hangover by taking the first round lead with a brilliant seven-under-par 64 and he followed up with further cards of 67, 69 and 68 to win by three shots from Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat.
Throughout the week, Bhullar, who accumulated a winning score of 16-under-par 268, was challenged by the likes of Prom Meesawat and teenaged phenom Jazz Janewattananond but his steely determination saw him prevail.
Indonesia Open - Day ThreeHe opened his final round with 10 straight pars but displayed a brilliant back nine performance highlighted by three birdies to cruise to Indonesia’s oldest golf championship title.
“I gave myself a lot of opportunities but I misjudged my yardages on a few holes. Winning takes a lot of patience. I’m glad I stayed patient and showed a lot of confidence,” said Bhullar, who took home the winner’s cheque of US$135,000.
After a runner-up finish in the Avantha Masters on home soil early in the year, Bhullar’s season has been hit-and-miss. His confidence hit rock bottom at the World Cup but despite finishing last, he still believed his game was good enough for a win.
And he proved his point with a commanding show at the Damai Indah Golf – Pantai Indah Kapuk course.
“I haven’t had much success this season but I know my game was up there and winning was just a matter of time. I waited so long for my fifth win and this is my 10th consecutive event. Mentally, I was exhausted but Indonesia is one of my favourite cities as I won my first title on the Asian Tour here,” said Bhullar.
Malaysian rising star Fung contended for the championship before finishing tied second following a closing 66.  He showed great maturity during the heat of battle, citing his success on the Asian Development Tour for his glorious run of form where he was also tied fifth at the Resorts World Manila Masters several weeks earlier.
“I’m extremely happy with my performance. It’s really good to see my name up on the leaderboard amongst the other experienced players,” said the Fung. “During the rain suspension (on the final day), I checked my phone and was overwhelmed with tons of messages. I felt really encouraged and I’m glad I didn’t disappoint them (his fans),” he smiled.
Chapchai, a three-time Asian Tour winner, was disappointed he failed to snap his four-year title drought.  “I’m very hungry for a victory. I’m getting closer to it. I can really feel it,” said the powerful Thai.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh ended his campaign in solo fourth while Jyoti Randhawa of India was a further shot back. Young Thai Jazz Janewattananond, the co-leader at the start of the final day, closed with a 74 to finish joint sixth.