Bhullar Claims PGTI Players Championship


Bangalore, Aug 16:  Gaganjeet Bhullar claimed his fourth Aircel PGTI title of the season in style, winning the PGTI Players Championship here Saturday.

Bhullar returned a three-under 69 in the final round to win with a comfortable margin of three strokes, having put up a total of 13-under 275. The win at Eagleton made Gaganjeet richer by Rs.484,950 and took him past Mukesh Kumar as the leader on the Aircel PGTI Order of Merit.

Bangalore-based amateur Abhishek Jha finished overall second at 10-under 278 and also took home the amateur title for posting the best score among all amateurs at the event.

Third round leader Bhullar (68, 69, 69, 69) stepped onto the course in a positive frame of mind ahead of the final round Saturday morning, knowing that the title was well within his grasp.

There was no stopping the 21-year-old once he got going with a birdie on the second, where he converted a seven feet putt. He made the most of his opportunities on the par five holes, making birdies on the fourth, seventh and 10th. His lone bogey came on the 15th where he pushed his second shot to the right and had a difficult fourth shot from under a tree.

The Kapurthala-based Bhullar now has a total of five tournament wins this year. He has won four titles on the PGTI and one on the Asian Tour.

"My final round was a lot like the third round. I hit it close to the pins through the day. The third shot with a sand wedge on the par five fourth hole was special. It landed just two feet short of the pin," said a beaming Bhullar.

"I was relaxed since morning and did not feel any real pressure. Since Raju and Ali Sher were not attacking the pins it became easier for me to close the game."

Jha's (66, 73, 73, 66) six-under 66 was the best round of the day and it catapulted him from overnight tied seventh to second place. Jha, playing on his home course, sank an amazing eight birdies in the final round.

He also had two bogeys. He holed a 20-footer for birdie on the third and then drove the green to set up a two-putt for birdie from 16 feet on the 17th. According to Jha, his best birdie of the day was on the 18th where he made a tricky 12 feet putt.

Jha said: "I missed a few putts today but more than made up with my superb hitting. I hit the ball really close all day. I just need to work on my putting now."

He added: "It feels great to finish second in an event that saw participation from all the top professionals in the country. I'm glad that I came back strongly on the final day despite a couple of ordinary rounds on day two and three. This performance will give me a lot of confidence in all future events."

Raju Ali Mollah (70, 67, 71, 72) finished overall third and was the second best professional with a tournament total of eight-under 280. Anura Rohana (67, 71, 71, 72) was one stroke behind in fourth place.

Ashok Kumar secured fifth position at six-under 282 while Digvijay Singh and Vikrant Chopra shared sixth place at five-under 283.

Ali Sher and Om Prakash Chouhan had identical totals of three under 285 and thus shared eighth place while Mukesh Kumar ended the tournament in tied 21st place with a total of two-over 290. 


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