Bhullar and Lu provide feel-good stories

Mon 03 Oct 2016

Bhullar and Lu provide feel-good stories


Sentosa, Singapore, October 3: Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih and Gaganjeet Bhullar of India delivered feel-good comeback victories on Sunday, marking a welcome return into the Asian Tour champion’s club following years of self-doubt.

Lu, 37, and Bhullar, 28 were victorious at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea respectively as their wins propelled them into position to qualify for the CIMB Classic in Malaysia later this month and also a shot at getting into the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Four years ago, Lu, now a four-time Asian Tour winner, underwent brain surgery to remove a non-malignant tumour which put him out of action for close to a year. Although he posted only one top-10 in the subsequent seasons upon his return, Lu was simply relieved he could compete again after his major health scare.

Ganganjeet Bhullar-web“After the surgery, I took things slowly. I started step by step. Can you imagine, after the surgery, the doctor said I couldn’t even sneeze!” said Lu, who earned US$160,000 to move up to 11th place on the Order of Merit.

“I took things slow. I started by hitting 100 balls and after that, I blanked out. It was so tiring. At that time, I thought I couldn’t play golf anymore. But my family pushed me. My wife, my parents kept motivating me to keep fighting. I’m here today because of them. The victory is for them as well. I’m blessed to have them in my life.

“It means a lot to me to win this tournament. After the surgery, I thought I couldn’t play golf anymore so to be a winner again is amazing.”

My wife, my parents kept motivating me to keep fighting. I’m here today because of them. - Lu Wei-chih

Bhullar endured a similar road. At the end of 2013, he was already a five-time Asian Tour winner at the age of 25 before suffering a ligament tear in his left wrist in 2014. Like Lu, the Indian’s comeback was slow, with only one top-10 to show for in the following two seasons but with a dose of self-belief and determination, he ensured a stylish return into the winner’s circle by overcoming a five-shot deficit in the last day.

“This is the best I’ve ever played. After I got injured, I was struggling a lot. I lost my winner’s category status last year and I put in a lot of hard work into my game this year. It’s great and I know it’s going to take some time for this win to sink in,” said Bhullar, who earned US$194,400 to move up to 10th position on the Order of Merit.

Lu Wei-chih website“I was riding high on confidence in 2012 and my highest world ranking was 82 in the world. I played in Europe for two years and then got injured. I had to sit out for four months and undergo rehabilitation for another three to four months. My world rankings dropped to a low 700-plus but I had lots of will power and determination to get back into shape. At the end of the day, I’m glad I won this tournament.”

Australian Scott Hend solidified his position atop the rankings with a tied fourth finish at the Shinhan Donghae Open which was making a welcome return onto the Asian Tour Schedule. The big-hitting Australia, a two-time winner this season, has now earned US$763,252, followed by countryman Marcus Fraser on US$658,203. Korea’s Jeunghun Wang is third with US$484,386.

The Asian Tour heads to the US$750,000 BNI Indonesian Masters presented by

Zurich this week followed by the US$1.1 million Venetian Macao Open next week. The leading 10 players after Macao will qualify for the US$7 million CIMB Classic while the leading four not otherwise exempt will qualify for the US$9.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions.

Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia

Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20

Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)

1. Scott HEND (AUS) 763,252

2. Marcus FRASER (AUS) 658,203

3. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 484,386

4. CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 455,657

5. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 450,176

6. Soomin LEE (KOR) 348,724

7. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 316,017

8. Yuta IKEDA (JPN) 292,849

9. Younghan SONG (KOR) 272,757

10. Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 243,462

11. LU Wei-chih (TPE) 211,628

12. Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 202,080

13. Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 176,621

14. K.T. KIM (KOR) 169,233

15. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 168,880

16. Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 165,052

17. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 153,920

18. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 153,371

19. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 148,120

20. Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 144,721

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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