Bhullar aims high on Asian Tour order of Merit

Sentosa: The youngest to win eight Asian Tour titles, Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar is now aiming to make a run for the top spot in the regional Order of Merit.

Following his title triumph in the Macao Open yesterday, Bhullar is now 12th place on the Order of Merit. With seven tournaments with a total prize purse of USD 6.65 million still on offer, he is eyeing the top position on the Order of Merit.

“It has been my childhood dream to win the Order of Merit. I’ve seen my heroes Arjun (Atwal), Jyoti (Randhawa) and Jeev (Milkha Singh) win the Order of Merit. I would love to do the same and the goal for the rest of the season is to play like how I’m playing and stay in the positive mood,” said the 29-year-old, whose current season’s earnings on the Tour stand at USD 340,761.

Bhullar trails current Merit leader Gavin Green of Malaysia by slightly over USD 320,000. David Lipsky of the United States and Scott Hend of Australian remained in second and third place with earnings of USD 461,179 and USD 434,029 respectively.

The Indian duo of SSP Chawrasia (USD 340,761) and Anirban Lahiri (USD 320,150) are in fourth and fifth position followed by Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai (USD 301,852) in sixth place.

Bhullar is now tied on Asian Tour victories alongside Atwal and Randhawa. He only trails Scott Hend of Australia (nine), Prayad Marksaeng (10), Thongchai Jaidee (13) and Thaworn Wiratchant (18).

But what makes his victory at the Macao Open even more amazing is the fact that no other player has achieved his success before turning 30 on the Asian Tour.

When Randhawa and Atwal won their eighth Asian Tour title, they were aged 36 and 41 respectively while Hend was 42 and Prayad was 48. Thai stars Thongchai and Thaworn were 37 and 38 when they reached eight wins on the region’s premier Tour.

Bhullar credited his success to hard work and a new partnership with coach Noah Montgomery.

“I started working with my coach in the summer and we’ve been working really hard on my game. He changed a few technical aspects in my swing and that’s really helped me.

Overall the attitude and my point of view towards the game and winning have changed,” said Bhullar.

This week, the Asian Tour will head to the Indonesia Open where Bhullar will defend his title.

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