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Bhullar wins PGTI Players Championship

May 07, 2010 20:34 IST

Gaganjeet BhullarGaganjeet Bhullar bagged his eighth career title after a spectacular four under 66 in the final round in the PGTI Players Championship, presented by the Bombay Presidency Golf Club, on Friday.

Bhullar totaled seven under 273 to finish one stroke ahead of his nearest rivals, Shamim Khan and Mohd. Siddikur Rahman.

Bhullar (66, 71, 70, 66), who had almost slipped out of contention after dropping two triple bogeys on the front nine in round three, fashioned a remarkable recovery with a courageous performance over the last 27 holes.

The Kapurthala lad first salvaged his third round with a six under score on the back nine on Thursday and then returned a spirited 66 in the final round on Friday to take home the trophy.

Bhullar began round four with a flurry of birdies on the first, fourth and fifth before stumbling upon his first bogey of the day on the sixth. Two more birdies on the ninth and 14th brought him within one stroke of the leader, Shamim Khan.

He suffered a huge setback when he double bogeyed the 15th, having failed to get the ball out of the bunker on the first attempt. However, he quickly got back into the game with an excellent birdie on the 16th, which propelled him into the joint lead along with Shamim, who, on his part, dropped a second consecutive bogey on the 16th.

Shamim Khan's title hopes suffered a major blow when he made it three bogeys in a row on the 17th and handed Bhullar a one-stroke lead.

Bhullar then all but sealed the title with a birdie on the 18th. Thereafter, Shamim needed an eagle on the 18th to take the match to a play-off, but he could only manage a birdie and thus finished in tied second.

Bhullar's eighth career win on Friday was also his sixth on the Aircel-PGTI and second professional victory in 2010.

Bhullar said, "This is a special win considering the fact that I was almost out of the race after having made two triple bogeys in round three. But I hit it really well today and did not lose my focus till the very end. The birdie on the 16th was the highlight of my round. On the 16th, I hit a fantastic six iron shot from 200 yards that landed within 25 feet of the pin. I then converted the birdie putt."

He added, "This win comes as a huge boost for me ahead of a long international season."

Delhi's Shamim Khan (69, 67, 67, 71) lost out on a golden opportunity to bag his sixth career title as he stumbled at the final stretch. Shamim began the day well, having made three birdies and a lone bogey till the 12th hole. However, he started missing the fairways and greens in the latter half of the day and thus conceded bogeys on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th that in turn put the title beyond his reach.

Mohd. Siddikur Rahman (66, 71, 69, 68) of Bangladesh joined Shamim in tied second at six under 274. Rahman's final round featured six birdies and four bogeys.

Australia's Anthony Choat came in fourth at three under 277. Digvijay Singh and Harmeet Kahlon finished a further stroke behind in tied fifth.

Manav Jaini's five under 65 was the best round of the day and helped the Delhi golfer finish in tied seventh along with Anirban Lahiri at one under 279.

Gaurav Ghei's one over 281 total placed him ninth.