Gaganjeet Bhullar first played some great golf in relentless rain and then endured some tense moments at the end before making a victorious return to the winner’s circle after a gap of three years as he won the Shinhan Donghae Open on Sunday.
Starting the final day, five shots behind the leader, Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong, Bhullar said, “I was not in contention when I started the round but I was very certain I was going to win this week and I was full of confidence. I kept telling myself I was going to win this trophy. There was lots of dedication and will power to do that,” he said.
He played superbly to find 13 of the 14 fairways and reached 15 of the 18 greens in regulation. That was the feature of his game through the week.
Bhullar endured two bogeys towards the end but hung in for a win. “Despite those two bogeys (on 16th and 17th), I was still mentally strong and I knew that nobody was going to stop me from winning today,” said Bhullar, who parred the 18th.
“I knew I was leading by four shots and somehow 16 was one of the toughest holes and I had to keep the ball in play and try to make a par at least. But I made a bogey there after hitting the water. But I was strong despite that.”
Bhullar, 28, whose last international win came in Indonesia in 2013, also became only the second Indian to achieve professional success in Korea — the first was Jeev Milkha Singh, who won the same event in 1994.
Bhullar is the second Indian to win this year on Asian Tour. The first was SSP Chawrasia, who won the 2016 Hero Indian Open in March.
“This win means a lot to me. The last time I won was back in 2013. I’ve gone through one of the lowest phases of my career over the last two seasons when I also suffered a wrist injury.
I lost my European Tour card and my winner’s status on the Asian Tour in the last two years. I thank my coach and my family for all their support that helped me in getting my career back on track,” said Bhullar.