Bhullar edges out Himmat in play-off at golf tourney

May 2nd, 2009 - 10:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, May 2 (IANS) Gaganjeet Bhullar came from way behind overnight leader Raju Ali Mollah, to win his second professional golf title after edging out Himmat Singh Rai in a playoff at the PGTI Players Championship at the Rambagh Golf Club here Saturday.
Bhullar and Rai headed into a play-off after they finished the regulation 72 holes with matching totals of 10 under 270. Rashid Khan, who also won the amateurs title, and Vikrant Chopra were tied third as they finished two strokes behind Bhullar and Rai. Mollah was tied fifth at six under 274.

Bhullar (73, 67, 65, 65) shot a bogey-free 65 to climb from overnight tied fifth to the winner’s podium Saturday. The final round turned out to be a battle between two 21-year-olds, Bhullar and Rai, both of whom had also registered their maiden professional wins earlier this year.

Even as overnight leader Mollah slipped after dropping a number of strokes at the very outset, Bhullar and Himmat made a move up the leaderboard.

Bhullar was consistent on the front nine, making eight pars and a solitary birdie on the eighth. He turned on the heat on the back nine as he sank birdies on the 10th, 13th, 16th and 17th. The Kapurthala-based professional made an incredible birdie on the par three 13th where he hit his six-iron tee shot to within 10 feet of the pin despite encountering headwind.

Bhullar played the playoff hole (18th) to perfection as he hit the green in two on the par five 18th and then made a two putt from about 30 feet to make birdie and win.

“I didn’t have a good start this week but in the last two rounds I felt I was in control of my game. I knew that it would be a tough contest against Himmat towards the end since the two of us have played a lot of junior golf together. But, I guess I came through today because my mental toughness and technical skills are improving every week with my good performances on the Asian Tour and in other international events such as the British Open Qualifying,” said Bhullar.

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