Bhullar hoping for a turnaround at Selangor Masters


Selangor (Malaysia): Gaganjeet Bhullar is hoping his maiden visit to a happy hunting ground for Indian golfers will lead him to glory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters starting Wednesday.

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The 23-year-old Bhullar, who is a two-time Asian Tour winner, plans to emulate countrymen Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal by winning at the highly rated Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.

The Indians include Jyoti Randhawa, Anirban Lahiri, Gaurav Ghei, Manav Jaini, Sujjan Singh, Chiragh Kumar among others.

A stellar field, led by Bangladeshi sensation Siddikur, who is currently second on the Order of Merit, five-time champion Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, title holder Angelo Que of the Philippines and fourth-ranked Jbe Kruger of South Africa, will compete in the $400,000 Asian Tour tournament.

“This is my first time to Kota Permai and to be honest, this is one of the best golfing venues in Malaysia,” enthused Bhullar. “I’ve heard a lot about this course from my fellow Indian players as we’ve had some success here. Arjun won the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2008 while Jyoti won the Volvo Masters of Asia in 2004. This might be the next ground for another Indian winner.”

The talented Bhullar feels at home at the par-72 course as it also reminds him of the venue where he captured his maiden Asian Tour victory in Indonesia in 2009.

“It reminds me of the course (Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course) where I won in Indonesia. It’s not long but it’s very challenging around the greens. I feel the greens will be treacherous. They are not big in size but it is very fast. Some of the pins, you can’t miss it on the wrong side. You have to make sure the next putt is uphill. The course is demanding but I’m predicting the scores will be low,” said Bhullar.

After a fast start to the year where he won four out of six tournaments on the domestic Indian circuit, Bhullar’s game has somewhat cooled off. He is keen to strike it hot again on the Malaysian fairways and hopes to reap the rewards of the work he has put into his short game in recent months.

“I’ve been working hard on it and there are some aspects which I’ve improved. I just need to focus on my mental strength and try to get into the zone again,” he said.

“I have got a few more opportunities in the second half of the season (to win) and hopefully I can do well.”

While Bhullar is hoping to return to top form, South Africa’s James Kamte is simply happy to be returning to competition after a long spell out with injuries. The power-packed Kamte, a graduate from the Ernie Els Foundation, won the Asian Tour International in 2009 but has since endured a tough 18 months.