SENTOSA, DEC 15 :Indian young gun Gaganjeet Bhullar was a relieved man after becoming the last player to earn full playing rights on the Asian Tour next year and also qualifying for this week’s season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia in Bangkok.
The talented Kapurthala-based Bhullar produced a stunning final round performance at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open on Sunday to pip Australian Adam Groom by a mere US$681 for the final spot.
He shot an impressive eight-under-par 64 at Phokeethra Country Club and ended his Cambodian campaign in a tie for 11th place. The result pushed him into the top-65 on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit which was needed to secure his card and a place at Volvo Masters of Asia at Thai Country Club.
Groom finished tied 39th in Cambodia and now faces the prospect of returning to Qualifying School in January.
"The motivation of making into the top-65 kept me alive," admitted Bhullar, who has earned US$82,825 this season.
Born on April 27, 1988 and a team silver medalist in 2006 Doha Asian Games, Bhullar had entered the week in 67th place and said the pressure to perform was immense. He heaved a sigh of relief after the final scores were tabulated on Sunday evening.
"It was quite a tense experience for me. There was a lot of pressure especially after missing the cut in Vietnam. I realised that my yoga exercises has definitely helped me a lot," added Bhullar, who turned professional in 2006.
Korea’s Bae Sang-moon, seventh on the Order of Merit, and Noh Seung-yul (10th), Malaysia’s Ben Leong (24th), India’s Digvijay Singh (25th), Australian golfer Darren Beck, who is ranked 26th, Mitchell Brown of Australia (31st), Lam Chih Bing of Singapore (33rd), Kim Kyung-tae of Korea (36th), Thailand’s Somkiat Srisanga of Thailand (40th), Rhys Davies of Wales (41st), Fijian Dinesh Chand (44th), Guido Van Der Valk of Netherlands (51st), Andrew Dodt (52nd), Filipino Mars Pucay (54th), Japan’s Kodai Ichihara (55th), Neve Basic of Australia (64th) and Rick Kulacz (63rd) of Australia will join Bhullar in making their debut appearance at the Volvo Masters of Asia.
20 Order of Merit ranking
1 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 1,447,481, 2 Lin Wen-tang (Tpe) 820,839, 3 Mark Brown (NZL) 767,630, 4 Liang Wen-chong (Chn) 521,428, 5 S.S.P. Chowrasia (Ind) 476,110, 6 David Gleeson (Aus) 448,988, 7 Bar Sang-moon (Kor) 409,545, 8 Thaworn Wiratchant (Chn) 401,210, 9 Scott Strange (Aus) 380,678, 10 Noh Seung-yul (Kor) 339,641, 11 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 326,193, 12 Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) 317,437, 13 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 2971,93, 14 Kane Webber (Aus) 292,283, 15 Lu Wen-teh (Tpe) 252,622, 16 Adam Blyth (Aus) 248,577, 17 Taichiro Kiyota (Jpn) 246,281, 18 Scott Hend (Aus) 233,093, 19 Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 227,833, 20 Simon Griffiths (Eng) 220,129.