In-form Bhullar all set for Diamond Cup in Japan

Sakal Times
Thursday, 20 September 2018

Gaganjeet Bhullar, who is on a roll with a series of Top-10s is all set to challenge for his first success in Japan as he takes on Asia and Japan’s elite in the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup which starts on Thursday.

Saitama, Tokyo:  Gaganjeet Bhullar, who is on a roll with a series of Top-10s is all set to challenge for his first success in Japan as he takes on Asia and Japan’s elite in the Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup which starts on Thursday.

Bhullar, who has had eight Top-10s this season, including a win in Fiji, is hoping to get his 10th Asian Tour win as he hopes to build on his fine form at the JP¥150 million (approximately US$1.35 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organization.

Other Indians in the field include Rashid Khan, who was 15th last week in South Korea, Ajeetesh Sandhu, whose only Asian Tour win has come in Japan, Chiragh Kumar, Rahil Gangjee, who earlier in the season won I Japan, Take Solutions champion Viraj Madappa, Shiv Kapur, Arjun Atwal, the Asia captain at 2018 EurAsia Cup and amateur Jay Pandya.

Bhullar has won in six different countries in his young career and will be looking to add Japan to his list this week. He is one victory from joining Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand as a 10-time Asian Tour winner and the ones among ahead of that are Thongchai Jaidee (13) and Thaworn Wiratchant (18).

In his nine Asian Tour victories, Bhullar has won in Indonesia (three times), Thailand, Chinese Taipei (twice), Macao, Korea and Fiji. He admits that he struggles to play his best in Japan, a country where his best result was tied 51st place in 2009.

Bhullar has already sealed his place in the CIMB Classic next month but he still needs to fight for a place in the WGC-HSBC Champions. The leading four players (not otherwise exempt) on October 7 will qualify for the tournament in China.

Bhullar said, “You can only get better. Normally the second half of the season is packed up with tournaments and everybody including myself starts to gain momentum. All these tournaments are important towards the Habitat for Humanity Standings. The goal is to keep repeating what I’ve been doing in the last six or seven months and give your 100%.”
He added, “My caddy and I talked about this at the start of the week. I’ve won in Korea and in other countries but Japan is still new to me! I’m trying to figure out a new game plan here. The golf course looks really nice. The course is in great shape but the only struggle will be if you miss the fairway. The rough is up so you have to hit lots and lots of fairways.”

“The goal is to reach double digits of victories on the Asian Tour. Before that, I have to remember that I need to continue working hard and the win will come.”

Bhullar diaries

 The 30-year-old Bhullar, currently ranked fourth on the Habitat for Humanity Standings, will be among the top contenders which include Scott Hend of Australia, Shugo Imahira, ranked 86th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
 “The goal is to reach double digits of victories on the Asian Tour. Before that, I have to remember that I need to continue working hard and the win will come.”

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