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Asian Tour: Getting a round with Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar

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GAGANJEET BHULLAR of India speaks to Asiantour.com about his goals in golf, how he keeps himself in top form and his motivation to excel.

 

What psyches you up, especially when you’re in contention?

It psyches me up whenever I see my name on top of the leaderboard. It really gives me the push to go all out to win the tournament.

 

What goes through your mind each time you step onto the first tee?

I try to work on my routine and process, and I keep telling myself that I will hit a good shot.

 

Have you ever been overwhelmed by an occasion?

Yes, there were a couple of times when I was in contention. It was a mix of emotions. I just tell myself to stay composed and keep calm on the golf course.

 

What gives you an edge over your rivals on the course?

I think it is my attitude and the killer instinct you need to have that gives you an edge.

 

How much do you pratise?

I practise a lot. I work a lot on my short game on and off the golf course.

 

After a 65, would you go back to the range or take the rest of the day off?

It depends on my mood. Most of the time, I will go and work on my short game.

 

How about after a 78?

Pretty much the same as what I would do after a 65.

 

What motivates you to excel in the game?

There are so many things that motivate me to do well. Everyone lives only once. You might as well give your 100 per cent in everything you do. I believe you will definitely excel if you do that.

 

What do you dislike the most on the golf course?

To be honest, there’s nothing that I dislike on the golf course.

 

Describe your happiest moment on the golf course?

I am still waiting for that moment to come.

 

Tell us one thing about you that not many people know?

That’s top secret!

 

Can you recall your first ever full 18 holes and what did you shoot?

I had my first full 18 holes when I was about eight years old. I shot a 94.

 

How would you describe yourself as a golfer?

I am a cool golfer. I try to keep myself cool, composed and relaxed when I’m on the course.

 

If you weren’t a golfer, what would you be?

Never ever thought of that. Never had the time to think about that.

 

How long did it take you to get to single handicap?

I got to a single handicap when I was 13 years old. I took around five years to achieve that.

 

Would you prefer to play on a 7,700-yard golf course or a shorter but penal golf course?

I would definitely prefer to play on the shorter golf course because that will really test your skills and what kind of player you are.

 

What is your ultimate goal in golf?

My ultimate goal is to be a major winner.

 

GAGANJEET BHULLAR

Country:          India

Date of Birth:   April 27, 1988

Residence:      Kapurthala, India

Family:             Single

Turned Pro:     2006

 

Asian Tour victories (4): 2009 Indonesia President Invitational, 2010 Asian Tour International, Thailand, 2012 Yeangder Tournament Players’ Championship, Chinese Taipei, 2012 Venetian Macau Open

 

Other victories (10): Five wins on 2009 PGTI (Professional Golf Tour of India), 2010 PGTI Players Championship, India, 2011 Gujarat Kensville Challenge, India, 2011 Bangladesh Open, 2011 PGTI Players Championship, India, 2011 Aircel PGTI Players Championship, India

 

Career highlights: In 2012, Bhullar reinforced his rising star status with victories at the Yeangder Tournament Players’ Championship in Taipei and Venetian Macau Open respectively. Both wins came during a hot six-week streak which also included a runner-up finish at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia. He enjoyed four other top-10s and ended the year in a fifth place on the Order of Merit. He had struggled in 2011, conceding he spread himself too thin by playing elsewhere.

 

In 2010, Bhullar notched his second career title at the season-opening Asian Tour International in Thailand, recovering from a six-stroke deficit to defeat Korea’s Hwang Inn-choon by one stroke. He went on to finish sixth in the SAIL Open in India, fourth in the Brunei Open and eighth at the Handa Singapore Classic. He won three titles in the sub-continent earlier in 2011 where he became the first Indian winner on the European Challenge Tour with a win at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge on home soil.

 

Bhullar came of age in 2009, winning his maiden title at the Indonesia President Invitational and notching three runner-up finishes and two other top-10s to end the year in sixth place on the Order of Merit. Victory in Indonesia was sweet as he erased the bitter memories of losing the same tournament in 2007 to Juvic Pagunsan, who pipped him with a birdie-eagle finish. Bhullar finished second in the Sail Open in India, Macau Open and Brunei Open, where he had a putt in regulation play to secure a back-to-back victory after his Indonesia breakthrough. Also qualified for his maiden Major at the British Open.

 

In 2008, he produced a dramatic but nervous finish during the end of the season to seal his full card. In the penultimate event, the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open, the young Indian fired a final-round 64 to finish tied 11th and pipped Adam Groom to the 65th spot on the Order of Merit, the final place for a full card by a mere US$681. He also finished tied fifth at the Sail Open and was a model of consistency towards the end of the year with only one missed cut in 10 events.

 

After a fairly successful amateur career, Gaganjeet enjoyed a good rookie season on the Asian Tour in 2007 where he missed only one cut in nine tournaments. Has credited mind coach Dr Pradeep Aggarwal for his upswing in fortune. He was India’s number one amateur in 2004 and 2006 and claimed a silver medal in the team event at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. He also won the World Junior Masters Championship in 2005.

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