Gaganjeet Bhullar claimed a third Asian Tour title yesterday, closing with three-under 69 to win the weather-shortened Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Linkou, New Taipei City, by four strokes.
The Indian fended off Jason Knutzon of the US and 14-time Asian Tour winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand to win the US$500,000 event with his three-day total of 12-under 204 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Knutzon enjoyed his best result of the season with his joint second finish alongside Thaworn, whose hopes of securing back-to-back victories 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 US and Taiwanese players Lin Wen-tang and Hung Chien-yao. Yeh Wei-tze was another two shots back in fifth after a 71.
“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 said. “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 determined mood in Linkou after having to settle for second best behind Thaworn in Malaysia two weeks previously.
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,” Bhullar said.
“I told myself that I had to make another birdie and it came on the 16th,” he said after answering back with another two birdies in his closing three holes.