Its seems that better times have arrived for Indian professional golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar. After a long layoff, he came back with a vengeance and secured a one-stroke victory in the recently played Shinhan Donghae Open in South Korea on Sunday. This happens to be Bhullar’s sixth title on the Asian tour. Gaganjeet’s last victory was in 2013.
Scott Vincent (69) of Zimbabwe who happens to be a newcomer and home favourite Kim Tae-woo (71) both finished just a stroke behind.
Gaganjeet made a turn in 34 after carding four birdies in five holes. This enabled the Indian golfer to have a four shot advantage and also to feature at the top of the leaderboard at 17 under.
However, bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes halted Gaganjeet momentum. Nervous Gaganjeet had to wait and see if his opponents Vincent and Kim who featured in the final group are successful in forcing a playoff.
Gaganjeet while commenting on his play said that he knew he was leading by four shots and somehow 16 seemed to him as one of the toughest holes. He felt that he had to keep the ball in play and try to make a par at least. However, he made a bogey there hitting the water. Gaganjeet added that despite the two bogeys he kept himself mentally strong and believed that nobody was going to stop him from winning the title.
Taking the match Bhullar’s day began with a positive note with a birdie on the second. Unfortunately for him, a bogey forced him back to level-par for the day. After this momentum began to shift in favour of Gaganjeet with the Indian golfer securing consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh. The latter was a 15 feet conversion.
Gaganjeet upped the ante with more birdies on the 10th, 12th, 13th and 14th holes. Bhullar’s confidence now seemed to be soaring. When the Indian bogeyed the 16th and 17th he went through a few anxious moments. However, a par by him at the 18th enabled him to lift the Shinhan Donghae Open. All the while, as the game was on, it kept drizzling.
Bhullar describing his mindset while the game was on said that he didn’t know he was leading by three at the 15th until he glanced at the leaderboard for the first time in the day. That was when he came to realise that he was ahead by three. This gave him confidence and he realised that he was playing well and needed to keep his momentum going by continuing to focus and stick to his routine.
Jeev Milkha Singh won the Shinhan Donghae Open way back in 1994. No other Indian Indian golfer has won this tournament after him until this recent victory of Gananjeet Bhullar.