Bhullar Triumphs in Jakarta

Sun 26 Jul 2009

Bhullar Triumphs in Jakarta


Jakarta, July 26: India's Gaganjeet Bhullar proved he was a star in the making when he secured his maiden Asian Tour title with an emphatic two-stroke victory at the Indonesia President Invitational on Sunday.


The 21-year-old fired a flawless five-under-par 67 in the final round at Damai Indah Golf - Bumi Serpong Damai course to make up for the heartbreak of finishing runner-up in the event two years ago.


His four-day total of 22-under-par 266, which earned him US$63,400, was well clear of Australia's Adam Blyth, who shot a 68 for lone second place in the US$400,000 event. Thailand's Thammanoon Srirot finished third on 269 after a 66 while Korea's Ted Oh was a further stroke back in fourth place.


"I've got no words to describe how happy I am," said Bhullar, who was pipped by Filipino Juvic Pagunsan's birdie, eagle finish in 2007. "I've been waiting for this for the past two years and I played really well today and I had a very good finish with a good score."


Bhullar, who dropped only one bogey all week, took a one-shot lead into the last round after the third round was completed this morning. The supremely talented got out from the blocks superbly with four birdies in his opening six holes, and made the turn with a healthy four-shot lead.

Playing in the fifth to last group after organisers maintained the third round pairings due to delays caused by inclement weather, Bhullar nailed his fifth and final birdie on the par five 13th hole before enduring an anxious wait at the clubhouse.


Blyth, playing in the last match, fought gallantly in his attempt for a maiden Asian Tour title but failed to catch the winner, making a two-putt birdie at the last to secure lone second place which was worth US$43,400.


"I was sitting in the clubhouse and I knew what happened to me two years back. Adam played really well but it is a relief now. I've won three times on the Indian circuit this year and my goal a few months back was to win on the Asian Tour and this will get me into all the co-sanctioned events now and give me a lot of confidence in my coming years.


"Definitely after this victory, many things are going to change in my life. I'm looking forward to it," said Bhullar, who received his trophy from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.


Blyth, who started the final round one back, paid tribute to the winner. "The better man won today. I gave it all that I could and I am really happy with my performance and everything. He played better," said Blyth, who now has 14 career top-10s.


"I hit it close and I putted well but they just weren't dropping. I had a putt on the 16th which just stopped on the lip, so it wasn't meant to happen."


Srirot, winner at the Damai course in 1996, was delighted to finish third in a season which has been topsy turvy with inconsistent play. "I'm happy with my finish. I made some changes to my swing and I had a new driver this week and drove it better. This is a nice course and I like playing here. It is one reason why I did so well," said the Thai veteran.


Filipino Artemio Murakami and Korea's Bang Sang-moon shared fifth place on 272 while Burhan Bora was Indonesia's best finisher in tied 35th place.


Leading final round scores

266 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 69-68-62-67

268 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 67-66-67-68

269 - Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 67-70-66-66

270 - Ted Oh (KOR) 68-67-66-69

272 - Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 76-64-64-68, Artemio Murakami (PHI) 69-67-68-68

273 - Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 72-68-66-67, Darren Beck (AUS) 66-73-69-65, Marcus Both (AUS) 66-70-68-69

274 - Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 70-71-65-68, Scott Hend (AUS) 70-69-68-67, Kim Dae-hyun (KOR) 69-67-69-69, Lee Sung (KOR) 67-67-71-69

275 - Jason King (AUS) 74-68-65-68, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 68-68-70-69, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 69-67-70-69, Rick Kulacz (AUS) 72-71-66-66, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 66-66-71-72


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 ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.