Bhullar eyes historic hat-trick at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open

Tue 10 Jul 2018

Bhullar eyes historic hat-trick at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open


Jakarta, Indonesia, July 10:  In-form Gaganjeet Bhullar of India will aim to lift the Bank BRI Indonesia Open trophy for an unprecedented third time when he tees off for the US$500,000 event on Thursday.

Bhullar, who won the prestigious tournament twice in 2013 and 2016, is looking to bank on his recent run of good form to contend for the title at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open, which will be held for the third consecutive year at the Pondok Indah Golf Course this week

The 30-year-old Bhullar has enjoyed a hot streak of late, finishing second twice in his last six starts on Tour this season. Having claimed three of his eight Asian Tour titles in Indonesia, Bhullar is hopeful of putting up another title run on his favourite hunting ground.

Sihwan Kim of the United States

Compatriot Chikkarangappa S., who marked his best result so far this season with a tied-11th place finish in Malaysia last week, will continue his chase for a breakthrough win on the Asian Tour when he makes his second appearance at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open. Sihwan Kim of the United States, the highest-ranked player in the 150-man field, will also continue to hunt for his maiden victory on the Asian Tour.

The 29-year-old American sits in seventh place on the latest Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings, thanks to three top-five results in India, Japan and Thailand.

The Indonesia Open, which hails as the longest running golf tournament in the country, received a prize boost of US$200,000 for the 2018 edition. The co-sponsors for Bank BRI Indonesia Open are PLN, PERTAMINA, TELKOM Indonesia, Batik Air, WIKA, BRILife, BRIAgro, BRISyariah and BRINS.

Did You Know?

  • Gaganjeet Bhullar became the youngest player, at the age of 29, to win eight Asian Tour titles when he emerged victorious at the Macao Open last year
  • He claimed his Asian Tour breakthrough at the 2009 Indonesia President Invitational. Out of his eight victories, three were claimed in Indonesia, including the Indonesia Open in 2013 and 2016.
  • Chikkarangappa S. is a two-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) champion.
  • Placed 68th on the money list, Chikkarangappa needs a good showing to break into top-60 and secure his playing rights for the 2019 season.
  • Sihwan Kim is the highest-ranked player on the Habitat for Humanity Standings at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open. He sits in seventh place with earnings of US$251,374 this year.
  • Kim finished in the top-10 three times this season. He was third at the Hero Indian Open, tied-fourth at the Panasonic Open Golf Championship and tied-third at the Queen's Cup presented by Bangchak.
  • He came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2017 and kept his card for the 2018 season by finishing within the top-61 of the Order of Merit list last year.

Players’ quotes:

Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind)

The Pondok Indah Golf Course is one of my favourite venues and it has one of the best layouts on the Asian Tour. I clearly remember the win at the Indonesia Open back in 2016. It would be nice to win the tournament for the third time.

Indonesia is close to my heart. I’ve always been successful in the country as I’ve won here a total of three times. My first international win was in Indonesia back in 2009 and it seems that there’s something there in this country that attracts me.

Hopes are high this year. I’m playing well. I’m going to spend some time on the putting greens and read them properly today. Overall, I’m feeling comfortable playing golf.

In terms of my form, I’m striking the ball pretty well. I’m working on some technical parts of my swing and because of this, I’m delivering a lot of good results from the tee box and fairways to give myself a lot of good putts on the green. That was part of the plan, which is to hit the ball closer to the hole and hole lots of putts. I’m always trying to get better so that I can compete with these guys on Tour! It’s all in the process and I’m working hard. I’ve adapted to some changes but there’s more to do. I’m happy with my ball striking at the moment and the goal is to repeat what I’ve been doing.

This is definitely one of the best layouts on Tour. This course makes you think off the tee. Not every hole is ‘driveable’ and you have to use almost every club in your bag. Depending on how you play at that moment, you have to capitalise the opportunity.

Chikkarangappa S. (Ind)

I’ve played at the Pondok Indah Golf Course in 2016. It’s a very beautiful course. You need to have all the shots there. It’s not easy, but I’m looking forward to it.

I played well then, but I couldn’t compete in the Indonesia Open last year because of the hectic schedule and I needed to take a break. I’m glad to be here this year; even more so now that the prize purse has increased to US$500,000. Besides, it’s always good to play on a golf course where you get rewarded for good golf shots.

It’s a great event to start the second half of the year. I’m getting better every week. Now, you can see me playing with a smile on my face, as I convert those even-pars to under-pars. I’ve always done well in Indonesia. I retained my Asian Tour card for 2018 at the season-ender that was held in this country.

Sihwan Kim (Usa)

I’m feeling good about this tournament. I’ve been playing pretty well lately, although I need a little more work on my putting. I just need to sort that out and play with the confidence that I’ve been playing with. That will lead to a victory at some point in time I’m sure.

I consider myself a good putter, but not so much over the last month and a half. I’m hitting the ball very well, but I’m just not producing on the greens. I have to read the lines and control the speed better, and I’ll need to adapt to the conditions that differ at almost every Asian Tour event. I will have to make some putts and get my confidence back.

It’s my first time playing here at the Pondok Indah Golf Course. Hopefully, it’ll fit my eyes.

My season has gone pretty well so far and now that I’m in my second year, I’ve settled quite well on the Asian Tour. Beyond a victory on Tour which is my main goal, I hope to get a spot at the WGC-HSBC Champions as well the CIMB Classic. Being in the top-10 of the money list (Habitat for Humanity Standings) is great, but of course, everything can be better.

About 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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.