Jakarta: Gaganjeet Bhullar bagged his fifth career title on the Asian Tour as he completed a start-to-finish win at the Indonesia Open with a flawless three-under-par 68 in the final round, here on Sunday.
It was his first title of 2013 and the second in Indonesia. Bhullar, who held at least a share of the lead from the first day, opened with 10 straight pars and then sank three birdies to grab the $750,000 Asian Tour event.
It was a fine day for the Indians, as Jyoti Randhawa (69) finished fifth at 11-under 273 and Anirban Lahiri (68) was tied sixth at 10-under 274.
Three Indians, Shiv Kapur (68), Chiragh Kumar (68) and SSP Chowrasia (69) were tied 23rd at five-under 279, while Sujjan Singh (69) was tied 29th at four-under 280.
Himmat Rai (71) was tied 35th at three-under 281 and Abhinav Lohan (71) was 51st at one-over 285. Rahil Gangjee (72) finished 64th at four-over 288. The lone Indian missing the cut was Ajeetesh Sandhu.
It was Bhullar’s first win since his triumph in Macau 13 months ago and it was his first top-10 finish since his second place at the Avantha Masters in India in March.
“I gave myself a lot of opportunities in the first nine holes but I misjudged my yardages on a few holes. Apart from that, there was no difference in my strategy. Winning takes a lot of patience. I’m glad I stayed patient and showed a lot of confidence,” said Bhullar.
“It was kind of difficult for me when play was suspended. I find it hard to go back to my momentum. I haven’t had much success this season but I know my game was up there and winning is just a matter of time.
“I waited so long for my fifth win and this is my 10th consecutive event. Mentally, I was exhausted but Indonesia is one of my favourite cities as I won my first title on the Asian Tour here,” added Bhullar, who took home the winner’s prize purse of $135,000.
Malaysian rising star Nicholas Fung contended for the title before finishing tied second on 66 with Chapchai Nirat of Thailand, who shot two eagles on Sunday, at the Pantai Indah Kapuk Course at Damai Indah Golf.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh ended his campaign with a 67 in solo fourth on 272, while Randhawa was a further shot back. Young Thai Jazz Janewattananond, the co-leader at the start of the day, returned with a disappointing 74 to finish tied sixth, but the 18-year-old earned plaudits by the Asian Tour stars for his battling performance.
Bhullar got off to a slow start but picked up pace when the field, which included a fast charging Siddikur, Jazz and Fung, edged closer and threatened to overtake him.
Starting the day at 13-under, he was still there after 10 holes. At that point, Siddikur with birdies on first four holes had moved to 12-under and Jazz was at 13-under after seven holes, but a bogey on seventh and double on ninth pushed him back. Fung had moved to 12-under after 11 holes.
Just then Bhullar shifted gears with a birdie on 11th. That was the turning point and he added two more birdies on holes 13 and 14. The momentum came to halt when inclement weather suspended play for over an hour but he returned with four pars to clinch the title.
The victory was also a welcome return to form for the Indian who struggled in the last six months and finished last at the World Cup of Golf in Australia last week.