Gaganjeet Bhullar ready to defend Shinhan Donghae Open title

The Indian is hoping for another Asian Tour victory this year following a tied-second finish at the Thailand Open in May.

Gaganjeet Bhullar admitted to have become a much improved player than last year.   -  Getty Images

Gaganjeet Bhullar will look to revive good memories when he starts his title defence at the Shinhan Donghae Open next week. After enduring a three-year title drought, Bhullar reconstructed his career by overcoming a five-shot deficit to power his way back to the winner’s circle at the Bear’s Best Cheongna Golf Club last year.

The seven-time Asian Tour winner is now hoping to continue that winning run at the KRW 1.2 billion (approximately USD 1.06 million) tournament which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Korean PGA from September 14-17. “It’s going to be a special feeling when I return to the Shinhan Donghae Open. That was the biggest victory of my professional career so far,” said Bhullar.

‘Positive challenges’

Bhullar is hoping to get another Asian Tour victory this year following a tied-second finish at the Thailand Open in May. The Indian believes he is returning as a much improved player and hopes to use that to his advantage.

“After winning the Shinhan Donghae Open last year, my thinking has changed a lot. I’ve matured as a player and that has definitely helped in my game. I’m getting much bigger opportunities now and I’m taking all of these as positive challenges,” said Bhullar.

‘Great memories’

Bhullar will come up against a strong field that includes more than 15 Asian Tour champions featuring Order of Merit winners David Lipsky and Thaworn Wiratchant of the United States and Thailand respectively. All eyes will also be on Korea’s Sangmoon Bae who will be making his long-awaited comeback after being discharged from military service this year while Zimbabwean Scott Vincent, who finished tied-second last year, will also tee up at the Shinhan Donghae Open which is celebrating its 33rd edition.

“I’ll never forget coming down the last hole, knowing I needed a birdie to force a playoff with Gaganjeet. I came really close, made a par there and finished one back. I came really close to winning. There were indeed great memories and I’m hoping to build on that this year,” said Vincent.