Bhullar Enjoys Superb Top-10

Sun 28 Oct 2012

Bhullar Enjoys Superb Top-10


Kuala Lumpur, October 28: The year keeps getting better and better for rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar as he fought his way to an impressive top-10 finish at the US$6.1 million CIMB Classic on Sunday.

The young Indian, who has won twice on the Asian Tour this season, posted a final round of four-under-par 67 to finish seven shots behind champion Nick Watney of the United States. Bhullar earned a cheque of US$102,500.

The 24-year-old outgunned some of the leading PGA Tour stars including 2010 CIMB Classic winner Ben Crane, Jeff Overton, runner-up here last year, and world number nine Jason Dufner.

Bhullar started the final round five shots off the lead and struggled to make a birdie charge, picking up only one shot on the seventh hole. Things brightened up for Bhullar on the back nine where he shot three birdies including two in his last four holes.

“The way I was striking the ball, I thought I could go really low, but that's golf. You've got to accept what comes your way. Definitely this is a great week for me. All four days I played with PGA Tour pros. It's a very good opportunity for me to learn this week, and I think this experience will definitely help in my coming years,” said Bhullar.

Bhullar’s resilient attitude and sharp shooting game earned him praise from first round partner and CIMB Classic runner-up Robert Garrigus, who called the young Indian “a phenomenal player.”

“Definitely it inspires you. Robert, he's a star on the PGA Tour. I've seen him so many times playing well on television, and it was good to pair up with him,” said Bhullar, who is currently fifth on the Order of Merit.

“You know, it really gives you a sense of achievement that you have played well, and it's basically a reward for your hard work. Yeah, he gave me a lot of positive feedback. He said your game is ready for the PGA Tour, it's just a matter of time. I'm going to heed that advice, and looking forward to moving to the next level.”

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant birdied the opening hole for the first time this week and extended his fine form by sinking five birdies against a lone bogey. The Thai legend was delighted with his overall performance even though he missed a short birdie putt on the last to end his campaign with a 66 for tied 16th position.

“My game has been good. I could have lowered my score but missed a short birdie putt on the last. Disappointing but overall a good finish,” said Thaworn, who holds the record of winning 15 Asian Tour titles.

After playing with tournament runner-up Bo Van Pelt on the first day, Thaworn reckons his game can be measured against the PGA Tour players. “I’m very happy with how I played. I played with Bo on the first day. He played very well. He is a very big guy. He doesn’t hit it long but hits it straight and controls his ball very good. His driver and iron were very good but my game is also very good,” he smiled.