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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Other Sport

Bhullar wins year's second Asian Tour title
Robin Bose, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 14, 2012
First Published: 23:20 IST(14/10/2012)
Last Updated: 23:21 IST(14/10/2012)

For long, Gaganjeet Bhullar has dreamt of turning out on the PGA Tour. So, when KJ Choi assured him last week (during the CJ Invitational hosted by the Korean great) that he had the game, and it was a matter of time before his wish was realised, the words held weight for the 24-year-old.

Though ready to wait for that day, the mind wandered to the days when he played with Rory McIlroy as a junior. The flashback had an instant sobering effect. "Look at Rory, he's world No 1. If you look at that, I'm really slow."

Perhaps he was being harsh on himself, but what came out of the comparison was the burning desire to constantly test his belief.

Start to finish
On Sunday, as he posed with the Venetian Macau Open trophy, the lines of the acceptance speech were already forming in the mind. Stepping into the clubhouse, he spoke out, "This is my first wire-to-wire (leading from start to finish) Asian Tour title. I've done this a few times at home (on the Professional Golf Tour of India). It was that I had to prove to myself that I'm a frontrunner (especially after last month's win at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship). I did it and it is special."

Making notes of previous rounds has become a habit and moving on with just the positives is an ability which proved its utility again in less than a month.

If in Taipei, he had "sworn to stay clear of mistakes", and the bidding was no different this time. That he started the week at the Macau Golf & Country Club on a false note was almost comical.

His ball-striking and putting near flawless, Bhullar was in the "perfect zone". After opening with a bogey, the routine was put to use, and despite some anxious moments towards the close, he could look back and smile, "Nobody thought I was going to win the tournament by a margin of two."

Confident his craft is "touching the next level", Bhullar feels (Anirban Lahiri and Himmat Rai) and he are ready to chase the targets set by Jeev Milkha Singh.

"The next responsibility of Indian golf is on our shoulders. We have to prove that the next generation is ready to take over. Jeev is our idol and one day we'll try and catch up."


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