SIEM REAP (CAMBODIA), Dec 14 :With the battle to finish in the top-65 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit also taking center stage this week, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar was a visibly relieved and happy man when he finished in tied-11th in the US$300,000 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open , and also take the prized 65th place on the ranking.
After Australia’s Neven Basic, who was 65th on the ranking at the start of the week, missed the weekend cut, it was down to the wire between Bhullar and Australia’s Adam Groom who were in 67th and 66th place, respectively.
Trailing three shots behind Groom at the start of the day, Kapurthala-based Bhullar knew that he had to play the game of his life in order to overtake Groom and avoid going back to qualifying school again next month.
"Before coming over, I was really very tense. There was just so much mental pressure, especially having missed the cut in Vietnam last week. I did a lot of yoga and that has really helped me a lot," said Bhullar who went on to produce one of his best performances by carding the day’s best score of 64.
"The motivation of making into the top-65 really kept me alive and I’m just so happy," added the Indian who has now retained his full playing rights for the 2009 Asian Tour season.
Bhullar will also be heading to Bangkok next week where an elite field of the top 65 players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit will be battling it out for the US$750,000 tournament that will bring the year to a thrilling conclusion on the Asian Tour.
: Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee made it two straight wins in a row when he claimed victory at the US$300,000 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open and immediately dedicated these victories to his newborn son. Victory was worth US$47,550 and it also meant that Thongchai has now matched his fellow compatriot, Thaworn Wiratchant’s Asian Tour record of 10 victories.
Leading final round scores: 264 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 68-66-64-66. 270 – Lam Chih Bing (Sin) 73-65-67-65. 272 – Chawalit Plaphol (Tha) 67-66-72-67. 274 – Rhys Davies (Wal) 64-75-67-68, Anthony Kang (USA) 65-69-69-71. 275 – Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) 70-69-68-68, Park Jae-bum (Kor) 68-67-71-69. 276 – Iain Steel (Mas) 74-65-68-69, Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha) 68-70-69-69, Steven Tiley (Eng) 70-66-69-71. 277 – Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 71-72-70-64, Jason King (Aus) 69-71-70-67, Guido Van Der Valk (Ned) 71-67-68-71. 278 – Gavin Flint (Aus) 68-71-72-67, Baaz Mann (Ind) 72-65-72-69, Unho Park (Aus) 72-67-69-70, Corey Harris (USA) 69-65-69-75.