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In-form Bhullar eyes Indian Open golf title

Last updated on: October 18, 2012 08:22 IST

'The next generation of Indian golfers are ready to take over'



India's Gaganjeet Bhullar will be chasing his third Asian Tour win this season when he tees off in the Indian Open golf tournament in Bangalore on Thursday, but insists he is not feeling any pressure ahead of the US$ 1.25 million event.

Bhullar, who won in Macau last week, is the man of the moment, and not worried about being in the limelight as he leads the local charge at the Karnataka Golf Association course.

"I feel the next generation of Indian golfers are ready to take over. The responsibility is on our shoulders (leading
the Indian charge with Anirban Lahiri and Himmat Rai in the absence of Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal) and we are ready for the challenge," said Bhullar, who has won four Asian Tour titles in his career.

Lahiri, Rai and Shiv Kapur, all winners on the Asian Tour, will also feature in the event, alongside Peter Hanson of Sweden, ranked 25th in the world, Richie Ramsay of Scotland and defending champion David Gleeson of Australia.

Bhullar is playing some of his best golf in recent months during which he won two titles in a span of a month which subsequently swelled his career earnings on the Asian Tour to US$ 1,001,045.

"I've been playing one of the best golf of my life in my career. It is a dream for every Indian player to play and win
this tournament.

"My game is in a good shape and I've started to putt well. There were a few technical mistakes which I made in my posture but I've sorted that out. That could be one of the reasons for my two victories." said the 24-year-old.

Image: Gaganjeet Bhullar
Photographs: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images


'I went to see a coach for the first time this year'

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David Gleeson uncharacteristically missed eight straight cuts from last year into the 2012 Asian Tour season, but is showing glimpses of a comeback after finishing tied 17th at the Venetian Macau Open last week.

"I've always played well on courses where you need to place your ball strategically. That does not happen at the start of the year. Most of the courses need you to be a good driver of the ball which I've never been," said the three-time Asian Tour winner.

"I went to see a coach for the first time this year to improve my woods off the tees. I think I've got that in a position where I can be competitive again," added Gleeson.

Image: David Gleeson
Photographs: Victor Fraile/Getty Images

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'There's no better place to be on your home course'

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Home favourite Anirban Lahiri, a two-time Asian Tour winner, believes this will be his best chance to add his name on the Indian Open trophy as the event is played on his home course.

"The last few events haven't been great but I've found form in patches. There's no better place to be on your home course and a place where you are comfortable when you are not 100 per cent in your game and looking for things to fall into place," said Lahiri.

"It is obviously a great feeling to have the national open in Bengaluru and playing on your home course. It is nice to sleep on your own bed and wake up and play early morning. I'm really looking forward to it," he added.

Image: Anirban Lahiri
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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'I love my sleep and fall asleep all over the place'

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Richie Ramsay, winner of the European Masters which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, hopes to overcome jetlag in time to launch a title assault.

The two-time winner in Europe is wary of the strong challenge this week where no more than 40 Asian Tour players from 24 countries are playing.

"I travelled from Scotland on Sunday 6pm and reached India on Monday 6pm local time. I'm just trying to stay awake and that's tough. I love my sleep and fall asleep all over the place," said Ramsay.

"There are a lot of good players here and if you don't focus here, they will try and get one over you," he added.

Image: Richie Ramsay
Photographs: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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