Macau Open champion Gaganjeet Bhullar targets the Hong Kong Open on his way to his ultimate goal – the PGA Tour
Indian golfer collects his second Macau Open victory and his eighth Asian Tour title
Two-time Macau Open winner Gaganjeet Bhullar says it is time to deliver on the European Tour stage – and next month’s UBS Hong Kong Open is where he can put his name in lights.
Bhullar, 29, collected his eighth Asian Tour title with a three-shot victory in the US$500,000 Macau Open on Sunday, leading wire-to-wire like he did in 2012.
But Bhullar was at a loss to explain why it is taking so long to go to the next level.
“I don’t know where I’m lacking or falling behind. All I know is I will keep working until I reach the PGA Tour. That is my goal and I’ve been saying this since 2009 when my first victory came.
“My next goal is to win a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour. I expect to perform well in big events in the coming years,” said Bhullar, who is ranked 237th in the world, the second highest Indian behind Anirban Lahiri (65).
His next opportunity will come in Hong Kong (November 23-26) where Bhullar boasts a best finish of 10th three years ago.
“I like that track,” Bhullar said of the composite course at Hong Kong Golf Club. “But golf is a weird game. You might be feeling on top of your game and something goes wrong – then some weeks you might be feeling just all right and you win the tournament.
“According to the media and some other guys I was not playing hot but I knew deep down I was playing well.
“It’s not about letting the whole world know, it’s all about what you are feeling and I knew that I was the guy to beat this week and that’s exactly what happened.”
Bhullar started the final round at the Macau Golf & Country Club with a one-shot lead, stretched it to five at one stage and coasted home despite a hiccup or two.
Compatriot Ajeetesh Sandhu, who was attempting to win for the third time in three weeks, and Angelo Que of the Philippines, finished in a tie for second.
“This is my hardest victory – wire to wire is not easy. You have the pressure from day one,” Bhullar said.
Bhullar had seen his four-shot lead reduced to one in round three but on Sunday, he drained five birdies on the front nine and won by three shots despite a nerve-jangling double bogey on 16.
The 29-year-old fired rounds of 64, 65, 74 and 68 for an aggregate score of 13-under 271, lifting his first Asian Tour trophy of the year.
Bhullar’s fellow Indian Ajeetesh Sandhu and Filipino Angelo Que shared second place at par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club, while Taiwan’s Hung Chien-Yao was alone in fourth.
Sandhu was gunning for his third title in a row after he claimed his maiden Asian tour victory in Taiwan this month and triumphed on the Japan Challenge Tour a week later.
Bhullar, the 2012 champion in Macau, bogeyed his opening hole on Sunday before he stormed ahead with birdies on two, three, four, seven and nine to turn in 31.
He also birdied 13 but dropped a shot on the next and picked up his double on 16, before finishing in style with his sixth birdie of the day in front of the galleries on 18.