Gaganjeet Bhullar dazzled with a solid four-under 68 in the final round to register a comprehensive five-stroke win at the DLF Masters golf tournament here on Sunday.
With scores of 68, 68, 69 and 68, Bhullar ended the tournament with a total of 15-under 273 and registered his fifth successive title on the Aircel-PGTI tour.
With this victory, the Kapurthala-lad took home the winner’s cheque of Rs. 12,93,200 to overtake Mukesh Kumar in the Aircel-PGTI Order of Merit.
Anirban Lahiri’s 66, the best round of the day, helped him secure the second spot with a total of 10-under 278, while Ashok Kumar (69, 70, 71, 69) fired five birdies and two bogeys in round four to finish third at nine-under 279.
Defending champion Jyoti Randhawa’s dream of making it three in a row here were dashed as the veteran ended the tournament tied in fourth place with Shamim Khan with identical totals of eight-under 280.
Even though Bhullar suffered a setback when he bogeyed the second, some good driving and iron-play earned him birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth.
As it turned out, he birdied the par four seventh in all four rounds and then went on to add two more birdies to his card with a couple of good approach shots on the 13th and 14th. Bhullar made pars on the last four holes to register the comfortable victory.
“I would rate this victory as one of my best till now since I managed to beat Jyoti Randhawa at his home course.
It’s turning out to be a great year for me,” Bhullar said after the win.
“I was not able to post good scores on the final day in previous seasons but now I have succeeded in sorting out that problem. I have also been able to get over the technical problem of hooking the ball to the left with my tee shots,” he said.
“The goal was to finish with a score of 16-under and I’m quite happy to have got really close to it. I converted some tough putts today, especially a 15-footer for birdie on the ninth. I also hit it to within seven feet for birdies on the seventh, 13th and 14th. I knew I had sealed it when I looked at the scoreboard on the 12th,” he added.
Lahiri (71, 70, 71, 66), meanwhile, had a bogey-bogey start but showed great resolve by firing four birdies and an eagle over the next seven holes.
He went on to make birdie-bogey on the 12th and 13th and finally closed the round on a high with birdies on the last two holes. The trees hampered his second shot on the 18th, but he made an excellent recovery with a low shot and then sank a birdie from 20 feet.
“This was definitely my best round at this course and I’m very pleased with my second place finish. The best aspect of my game today was my putting. I started badly with bogeys on the first two holes but then pulled it back with an eagle and four birdies over the next seven holes,” he said.
Randhawa (71, 68, 67, 74) slipped to tied fourth on Sunday as a result of a two-over 74 in his final round. He had three bogeys and a lone birdie.
“I was very inconsistent today and did not putt well. I felt I was not as focused as I should have been. Gaganjeet played some flawless golf. He’s truly a champion in the making,” Randhawa said.
S. S. P. Chowrasia came in tied seventh at four-under 284 while Shiv Kapur was tied 10th at two-under 286.
Meanwhile, the team of Anirban Lahiri, Rahil Gangjee and amateur Harinder Sikka won the team championship with a net score of 13-under 131.
The trio of Ashok Kumar, Toran Bikram Shahi and amateur Abhinav Lohan finished second with a total of 11-under 133