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Two wins in a month, but Bhullar has a long way to go

Last updated on: October 15, 2012 08:00 IST

Two wins in a month but Bhullar has a long way to go

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Gaganjeet Bhullar played junior golf with Rory McIlroy, and the Irishman has now won two Majors and is now the World No.1.

So Bhullar knows that despite two wins in less than a month, he has a long way to go before reaching his goals.

- Bhullar wins Macau Open, Kapur fifth

A fourth title win on the Asian Tour put Bhullar next only to the big three of Indian golf -- Jyoti Randhawa (8), Arjun Atwal (7) and Jeev Milkha Singh (6) -- in terms of the number of titles he has won on the Asian Tour.

Sure, the big three have also won on other Tours –- Jeev has also won four in Japan and four in Europe -– but Bhullar is on his way up.

Then, again, Bhullar is just 24 as compared to Jeev and Jyoti, who are past 40, and Atwal is 39. But Bhullar keeps it all in perspective and knows he has a long way to go before he can catch up with his idol Jeev Milkha Singh. With his latest win, Bhullar will be knocking on the doors of moving into the top-100 of the world.

Excerpts from an interview after the triumph in the Venetian Macau Open

How does it feel?

This victory, I can't explain it right now. It's going to take a long time to sink in. Two wins in one month, it means a lot. Everyone works hard. It is my first wire to wire Asian Tour title. It was difficult in the end.


Image: Gaganjeet Bhullar
Photographs: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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'I don't feel under pressure when I see myself on the leaderboard'

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It didn't come easy in the end?

My first hole of the tournament was a bogey. Nobody thought I was going to win the tournament by a margin of two and wire to wire. I was just lucky.

In the first few days, my putter really helped me and my ball-striking.

It was one of those weeks when you hit the ball well and you get a good bounce and some good luck. All in all, it was a spectacular week for me. I was keeping a track on the leaderboard.

It's a personal thing. I don't feel under pressure when I see myself on the leaderboard. Jonathan played really well in the last few holes.

I think the putt on 17 was the putt of the tournament and then the birdie on 18 gave me a two-shot victory. It was pretty close in the end. Whole week, I just struck the ball really well.

Mentally, I was focused and I was in the zone. I knew I would win it easily. I guess the next responsibility of Indian golf is on our shoulders, including Himmat Rai and Anirban Lahiri. We are the future of Indian golf. We have to prove to the people that the next generation is ready to take over.

Obviously what Jeev Milkha Singh has done, he has won about 14 international titles (plus some before Asian Tour was formed) and I've only won four.

The number is increasing. Jeev is our idol and one day we'll try to catch up.


Image: Gaganjeet Bhullar
Photographs: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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'I will take my game to the next level'

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Some big events coming up, you must be looking forward to them with the form you're in?

Golf is such a game that we guys are lucky. We play so many weeks and every week, there is a winning opportunity. There is an opportunity to win and show that you have the talent to do it.

Next few weeks will be important. I'm in the CIMB and HSBC and I'm looking forward to the big events. We also have the Barclays Singapore Open and UBS Hong Kong Open.

The events have a lot of bonus and also opportunities to get to the next level as well. Obviously, to win these tournaments will be important. With the form that I am right now, I'm feeling really good and let's see what happens.

I have played junior golf with Rory McIlroy and look at Rory, he's World No. 1. If you look at that, I'm really slow.

There's a lot of golf left. The next few years, I will take my game to the next level. I have thought about the European Tour and PGA Tour.

Last year, I tried the PGA Tour Qualifying School. But this year, I'm not exempt. It didn't make sense for me to miss the big tournaments in Asia as I would lose my world ranking points. So it's better I play well in these tournaments, gain world ranking points and go straight to the PGA Tour.

Jeev has set targets for us. I would say we need to work really hard. The two wins, multiple category right now, winning the Order of Merit would be nice.

A lot of big weeks are coming up -- Singapore, Hong Kong, Johor and next week the Indian Open -- a lot of big events. Obviously, it's not that far and a few good weeks can jump my ranking to No. 1 (in Asia Order of Merit).


Image: Gaganjeet Bhullar
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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