Mumbai, May 7 (IANS) Gaganjeet Bhullar bagged his eighth career title with the help of a spectacular four under 66 in the final round of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Bombay Presidency Golf Club on Friday.
He totaled seven under 273 to finish one stroke ahead of his nearest rivals Shamim Khan and Mohd. Siddikur Rahman.
Bhullar (66, 71, 70, 66), who had almost slipped out of contention after dropping two triple bogeys on the front nine in round three, fashioned a remarkable recovery with a courageous performance over the last 27 holes.
The Kapurthala lad first salvaged his third round with a six under score on the back nine Thursday and then returned a spirited 66 in the final round Friday to take home the trophy.
Bhullar began round four with a flurry of birdies on the first, fourth and fifth before stumbling upon his first bogey of the day on the sixth. Two more birdies on the ninth and 14th brought him within one stroke of the leader, Khan.
He suffered a huge setback when he double bogeyed the 15th, having failed to get the ball out of the bunker in the first attempt. However, he quickly got back into the game with an excellent birdie on the 16th which propelled him into the joint lead along with Khan, who on his part dropped a second consecutive bogey on the 16th.
Khan’s title hopes suffered a major blow when he made it three bogeys in a row on the 17th and handed Bhullar a one-stroke lead. Bhullar then all but sealed the title with a birdie on the 18th. Thereafter, Khan needed an eagle on the 18th to take the match to a playoff but he could only manage a birdie and thus finished in tied second.
Bhullar’s eighth career win on Friday was also his sixth win on the Aircel-PGTI and second professional victory in the year 2010.
Delhi’s Khan (69, 67, 67, 71) lost out on a golden opportunity to bag his sixth career title as he stumbled at the final stretch. He began the day well, having made three birdies and a lone bogey till the 12th hole. However, he started missing the fairways and greens in the latter half of the day and thus conceded bogeys on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th that in turn put the title beyond his reach.
Rahman (66, 71, 69, 68) of Bangladesh joined Khan in tied second at six under 274. Rahman’s final round featured six birdies and four bogeys.
Australia’s Anthony Choat came in fourth at three under 277. Digvijay Singh and Harmeet Kahlon finished a further stroke behind in tied fifth.
Manav Jaini’s five under 65 was the best round of the day and helped the Delhi golfer finish in tied seventh along with Anirban Lahiri at one under 279.
Gaurav Ghei’s one over 281 total placed him ninth.