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Tuesday October 22, 2013 MYT 8:08:00 PM
Tuesday October 22, 2013 MYT 8:10:48 PM
by ashreena pillai
Gaganjeet Bhullar is looking forward to playing with Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler in the CIMB Classic which begins Thursday.
KUALA LUMPUR: India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar enjoyed a fantastic debut at the CIMB Classic last year – earning a top-10 finish. This time, the 25-year-old from Amritsar, India, is out to prove it wasn’t just beginner’s luck.
“I had a top 10 finish last year. And I’m not really sure, but I think I was the highest ranked Asian as well. Coming to this week, I’ve had a good run so far ... so my goal is definitely to be in the top. I’ve played well here (Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club) and I just want to try to give my 100% this week,” said Bhullar during a press conference at the KLGCC on Tuesday.
With a whole lot more riding on the tournament for him this year – money won will be counted on the Asian Tour and the winner of the event will also earn a slot in the Masters Tournament on the PGA Tour – Bhullar will no doubt be looking to up the ante.
Bhullar, who has four Asian Tour victories so far – including the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship and Venetian Macau Open in 2012 – is currently third on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit list with US$286,953 (RM910,200).
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat leads the list with US$711,704 (RM2.26mil). Scott Hend of Australia is third with US$541,464 (RM1.7mil).
“Kiradech is pretty far ahead of all of us. But every penny counts on the Tour. The winner’s cheque (this weekend) is around US$1mil (RM3.2mil). And, if you win this thing, apart from winning the Order of Merit, there are other perks to enjoy. Definitely, I’m going to try to stay in contention on Sunday,” said Bhullar.
So, will having played on the course before on the Asian Tour be an added advantage to the Asian Tour players?
“I’m pretty sure this will help some of the Asian players because this is where we guys started playing golf. And we’re pretty familiar with the conditions, weather and the temperature. And when we get rain delays, we know how to cope with everything. So, I think this is definitely an added benefit to our experience,” he said.
“I’ve got a good pairing on Thursday and Friday. I’ve been paired up with Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler. So obviously I think it’s going to be a fun and interesting first two days. I’ve played with a few other guys on the PGA Tour, but never got the opportunity to play with these two guys.”
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