Indian golfer Bhullar wins Macao Open

Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar won the Macao Open trophy for the second time in his career after closing with a three-under-par 68 to complete a wire-to-wire victory yesterday.

The 29-year-old Bhullar fired seven birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey, winning by three shots with a 13-under-par 271 total for his eighth Asian Tour victory at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

Bhullar took home a winner’s prize purse of USD90,000. He is the third player after Australia’s Scott Hend (2013 and 2015) and China’s Zhang Lian-Wei (2001-2002) to win the event twice since the tournament’s inauguration in 1998.

The 2017 Macao Open champion remarked that playing on the course was challenging due to the region’s past weather conditions.

“I hit the ball well and made my putts. It was a tough start to the day but the last four days have been really hard,” said Bhullar, who is ranked 237th in the world.

“This is probably the only tournament where I’ve played in such windy conditions in all four rounds.”

For now, Bhullar said that his next goal is to win a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour. He will have an opportunity to be in the spotlight during the IBS Hong Kong Open in November.

“Every time you win wire-to-wire on the Asian Tour, you learn a lot. I want to grow as a player and you learn so much from winning and even losing,” he said.

“I’m glad that this is my eighth Asian Tour title and I’ve got so many more events to play on the Asian Tour.”

Meanwhile Filipino ace Angelo Que battled to a 69 to share second place with Ajeetesh Sandhu of India, who posted a 70, at the USD500,000 Asian Tour event.

Que made two birdies but regretted that he could have made more.

Commenting on the tournament, the Filipino professional golfer was satisfied with his result.

“It was still a good week for me. Finishing second is a good result. The conditions were the same but I think the pressure of trying to win gets to you […] I’ve always enjoyed playing here so I’m glad I came back here after missing this event for two years,” said Que.

While Sandhu is pleased with his compatriot’s win, he recalled that despite his game starting off well, he missed a few chances in the middle of the round, which threw him off.

Nevertheless, Sandhu said he is content with the tournament’s overall result, adding that he will continue to play well in future tournaments.

“It has been a good week and it was especially nice to play in the last group in the last two days. It was tense but I’m happy with the way it went,” Sandhu said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Hung Chien-yao took fourth place following a 72 for a 276 total.

India’s Rashid Khan returned with the day’s low round of 64 to grab a share of fifth place on a 278 total alongside American Johannes Veerman, who closed with a 70 in the Macao showpiece.

China’s Lin Yuxin, the only amateur to make the halfway cut, produced the shot of the day when his five-iron from 240 yards found the bottom of the cup for a magical albatross on the par-five 18th hole.

This was the 24th albatross on the Asian Tour and a second at the Macao Open.

It was also the first albatross scored by an amateur on the Asian Tour . LV

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