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Gaganjeet Bhullar wins Indonesia Open

India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar pipped compatriot Jeev Milkha Singh to win the USD 300,000 Indonesia Open for the second time in his career.

other sports Updated: Nov 21, 2016 11:56 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times
Golf,Gaganjeet Bhullar,Jeev Milkha Singh
Gaganjeet Bhullar, who also won the Indonesia Open in 2013, sealed his seventh Asian Tour victory and a second title. (Getty Images)

Contending successfully is what the fierce competitor in Gaganjeet Bhullar has strived for. The Indonesia Open is his second win in less than two months, and the season a replication of 2012, when he was in full cry and finished fifth on the Asian Tour’s order of merit.

But away from the glare, being in pain and the pangs of separation from golf haven’t been forgotten. Belief held him together, and a glance at the front flap of his staff bag brings this out. Just below the name tag and Tricolour, the Khanda (symbol of his faith) has always got a prominent display.

“My faith (in Sikhism) is intact and that’s all I care for,” Bhullar told HT. The reference was to the aftermath of the wrist injury two years back. He wasn’t prepared as till then niggles were all he had to contend with.

He admitted the timing was wrong as 2013 had commenced on a strong note. That said, the impact of moving with a cast on the right forearm and staying away from golf for more than three months wasn’t strong enough to change the outlook. “I’m too young to worry about the fallout,” said the 28-year-old.

“I’m a tough nut, my mentors say a role in the armed forces would have suited me better,” laughed the doughty lad from Kapurthala.

Bhullar is confident that the grade 2 ligament tear has healed, but if pain were to return, some “tweaking” would be required. If that is required, it would be done with reluctance.

Right now, he is happy to soak in the feeling of “being in the zone”, one that saw him win five times on the Asian Tour prior to 2016.

Next up is the Panasonic Open early next month. As is the case at the Delhi Golf Club, the driver will be out of the bag as “ball striking will be the key” on the tight fairways.

The injury had affected his short game, and unlike the last edition of the $400,000 event here, the concerns have subsided. The putter does go off the boil now and then, but then that’s golf. When it doesn’t, “the hole seems like a gutter and everything goes in”.

Seven wins in the bag, Bhullar could do with another such week as he “guns for more than 10 titles on the Asian Tour”.

First Published: Nov 21, 2016 11:21 IST