Golf / The Indian fended off Jason Knutzon and Thaworn Wiratchant
Gaganjeet Bhullar claimed a third Asian Tour title on Monday, closing with three-under-par 69 to win the weather-shortened Yeangder Tournament Players Championship by four strokes.
The Indian fended off American Jason Knutzon and 14-time Asian Tour winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand to win the $500,000 event with his three-day total of 12-under-par 204 at Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Knutzon enjoyed his best result of the season with his tied-second finish alongside Thaworn, whose hopes of securing back-to-back victory effectively ended when he was left to mull a one-shot penalty because of slow play.
American-Korean David Lipsky continued his fine run in his rookie season with another top-10 finish when he closed with a 70 to take a share of fourth place alongside Berry Henson of the United States and home players Lin Wen-tang and Hung Chien-yao.
“I believe it was my fighting spirit as I told myself that I’ve got to win this tournament no matter what happens. I knew I was playing well and I played really well on the par-fives all week,” Bhullar told the Asian Tour.
“I guess this whole week I was totally focused and I was in the zone and if I can repeat what I’ve been doing the last two rounds nobody can even touch me.”
The 24-year-old was in a determined mood in Taipei — the showpiece was reduced to a 54-stroke play tournament because of bad weather — after having to settle for second best behind Thaworn in Malaysia a fortnight ago.
Bhullar held a single shot lead heading into the final round and quickly extended his advantage to two with an opening birdie on the first hole.
He dropped a shot on the third but recovered quickly with two more birdies on the fourth and eighth holes to turn in 34.
After another birdie on the 10th hole, Bhullar dropped two shots on the 11th and 13th which saw his lead over Knutzon and Thaworn trimmed to one shot.
“I’ve been in this position many times on the Asian Tour and after that it was my fighting spirit,” he said.
“I told myself that I had to make another birdie and it came on the 16th,” said Bhullar, who answered back with another two birdies in his closing three holes.
Leading scorers after third and final round: 204 - Gaganjeet Bhullar 66-69-69; 208 - Jason Knutzon 66-71-71, Thaworn Wiratchant 70-66-72; 209 - Lin Wen-tang 67-75-67, Hung Chien-yao 72-69-68, David Lipsky 72-67-70, Berry Henson 69-68-72; 211 - Yeh Wei-tze 68-72-71; 212 - Miguel Tabuena 71-71-70, Baek Seuk-Hyun 71-71-70, Namchok Tantipokhakul 69-72-71, Mars Pucay 72-69-71, Himmat Rai 71-70-71. — AFP