Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar savoured a fifth Asian Tour victory at the Indonesia Open on Sunday before turning his attention to the inaugural EurAsia in March.
Still only 25, Bhullar produced a measured performance in Jakarta to win his first tournament of the season which pushed him up to fourth place on the latest Asian Tour’s Order of Merit with USD 462,378.
With the top four Asian players at the end of the 2013 season qualifying for Team Asia to face Europe in the Ryder Cup-styled EurAsia Cup at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia, the supremely talented Bhullar is poised to make the Asian team on his own merit.
Current number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, who leads the rankings with USD 1.1 million, is almost assured of securing a place in Team Asia while third-ranked Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh (USD 486,667) and fifth ranked Anirban Lahiri of India ($407,801) currently occupy the top-four Asian slots.
Australian Scott Hend is second on the merit list with USD 569,464. “I would like to qualify for the Asian team in the EurAsia Cup next year. That’s my goal now,” said Bhullar after cruising to a three-shot victory and picking up a winner’s cheque of USD 135,000.
“Before this, I actually thought I was slightly out of the race but looking at the Order of Merit now, I am definitely in it. It’s the first EurAsia Cup ever and I would love to be a part of the Asian team,” added the Indian.
Bhullar’s season has been hit-and-miss. After starting the year with a second place finish at the Avantha Masters on home soil, he failed to register another top-10 on the Asian Tour until his Jakarta high where he led from start to finish.
He entered the Indonesia Open after finishing last in 60th place at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf in Royal Melbourne but he kept his chin up despite his recent lack of results.
“I wasn’t feeling confident with my game coming to this week actually. I haven’t had much success but I know my game was up there and winning is just a matter of time... I’ve been playing so many tournaments and mentally I was exhausted. Indonesia is one of my favourite places as I won my first title on the Asian Tour here,” said Bhullar.