Gaganjeet Bhullar was unable to find his magic touch in the third round and signed off with an even-par 72 that still earned him a top-20 finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday.
He finished in a tie for 18th place and took home USD 75,000, which put alongside his top-10 at CIMB Classic last week, indicated that he is ready for the big league.
His senior teammate Jeev Milkha Singh closed with a 71 to finish tied 46th on 287.
Bhullar confessed that the key difference from winning at the highest level was simply self-belief.
“I think its self-belief. It’s the only difference. Today and the past few weeks, I’ve been playing with the PGA Tour players and I’ve been pumping my three woods past their drivers. Obviously, length is not an issue but the mental belief. If I play more and more in these events, one fine day, I’ll wake up with the self belief and win a Major,” said Bhullar, who finished nine shots behind winner Ian Poulter.
Poulter claimed a two-shot victory after overcoming an overnight four-shot deficit with a second successive seven-under 65 on Sunday.
The flamboyant Englishman picked up his second title in the World Golf Championships, 12th on the European and third in Asia.
He carded eight birdies to overhaul a faltering Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen, the joint third round leaders, before dropping a shot on the penultimate hole for a four-day total of 21-under-par 267.
South African star Ernie Els and the American trio of Phil Mickelson, Jason Dufner and Scott Piercy all shared second place in Asia’s richest tournament and only World Golf Championships event in the region.