Top-ten finish for Bhullar

Gaganjeet Bhullar ©Khalid Redza/Asian Tour

Kuala Lumpur: The year keeps getting better and better for rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar as he fought his way to an impressive top-10 finish at the US$6.1 million CIMB Classic today.

The young Indian, who has won twice on the Asian Tour this season, posted a final round of four-under 67 to finish seven shots behind champion Nick Watney of the United States. Bhullar earned a cheque of US$102,500.

The 24-year-old outgunned some of the leading PGA Tour stars including 2010 CIMB Classic winner Ben Crane, Jeff Overton, runner-up here last year, and world No. 9 Jason Dufner.

Bhullar started the final round five shots off the lead and struggled to make a birdie charge, picking up only one shot on the seventh hole. Things brightened up for Bhullar on the back nine where he shot three birdies including two in his last four holes.

“The way I was striking the ball, I thought I could go really low, but that’s golf. You’ve got to accept what comes your way. Definitely this is a great week for me. All four days I played with PGA Tour pros. It’s a very good opportunity for me to learn this week, and I think this experience will definitely help in my coming years,” said Bhullar.

Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant birdied the opening hole for the first time this week and extended his fine form by sinking five birdies against a lone bogey. The Thai legend was delighted with his overall performance even though he missed a short birdie putt on the last to end his campaign with a 66 for tied 16th position.