Jakarta, November 21 - Gaganjeet Bhullar of India won the US$300,000 BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open for the second time in his career after closing with a four-under-par 68 on Monday.
Bhullar, who also won the event in 2013, sealed his seventh Asian Tour victory and a second title this season with a 16-under-par 272 total at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
He returned to finish his remaining three holes on Monday morning as play was abandoned due to bad weather on Sunday.
Jeev Milkha Singh of India, a two-time Asian Tour number one, threatened briefly before settling for tied second place, his best result since 2012, after making bogey on the 17th hole to finish on 72.
Thailand’s Danthai Boonma (67), Panuphol Pittayarat (68) and Tour rookie Johannes Veerman (69) of the United States took a share of second alongside Singh on 275s.
The 28-year-old made five birdies in seven holes on Sunday before returning to par his last three holes and clinch his second victory in two months.
With his win at the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open, Bhullar is now the fifth player after Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, Frankie Minoza of the Philippines and Lu Hsi-chuen of Chinese Taipei to win the event twice.
“It is never easy in a Monday finish especially when you only have a two-shot lead. I slept at 7pm last night and woke up at 2am because there was so much adrenaline rush. I just couldn’t focus on anything.
“I was not focused on sleeping. I just could not divert my mind anywhere else apart from the last few holes. At the end of the day I’m proud of myself and I’m glad I pulled it off,” said Bhullar.
“I was full of confidence from tee number one. I told myself that I will play aggressive golf and gave myself a lot of birdie chances. I putted really well and made single putts in the first seven holes,” he added. Bhullar admits that it was a huge test of patience as the weather suspensions made life difficult for the players.
“The week was difficult, it was not easy at all. It was a test of patience but my past experience of winning here before helped. I’ve won before in stop and go week before. The experience really counted this week,” he said.
Singh, who has won 14 titles worldwide but not since 2012, admits it was difficult to chase the dominant Bhullar.
“I played well but Gaganjeet Bhullar started really well yesterday. I tried to push him but I finished second and I’ll take that result as it is my best finish of the year,” said the 44-year-old Singh.
“I think I handled myself really well being in the last group for the first time since 2012! I could have done better but I feel this will give me a lot of confidence heading into the next few weeks. I’m working on a few things which I need to trust more under pressure.”
The young Asian Tour stars have enjoyed huge success in the 2016 season but Singh is determined to return to his best form. “It is great to see the depth of the Asian Tour. It is good to see these young kids hungry and they want to birdie every hole. That’s the way it should be. Gaganjeet is 28 years old and I think sky’s the limit for him,” said Singh.
“It is good to see these young kids doing well. Obviously I want to compete with them. In fact, they push me to do better. They hit good and long drives and I want to keep up with them. Don’t forget age is just a number,” he smiled.
Two Indonesian players also had to complete their round on Monday. Danny Masrin (72) finished T14 with a total of 9-under par, after finishing even par on the last round. With 2 and half hole left to play on Monday he was momentarily at 10-under when birdying the 17th hole, but a bogey on the final hole meant he finished the round even par.
"I intended to make a birdie on these last holes. Since yesterday many balls didn't go in," said Danny.
Participating for the first time in the Indonesia Open was an extraordinary experience for Danny, and he was quite satisfied with his results over the 4 days.
Being on the leaderboard is a good experience. It gives me confidence to compete in upcoming tournaments," he said.
"My game is good. I have no problem with a 9-under result. This is my first time in the Indonesia Open, and also as a professional. At the moment this is a very good result for me," added the 24-year old
Another Indonesian golfer that had to finish his round on Monday, Adrian Halimi, was trying to reduce his over-par result. Closing out in 70, he managed to climb to T65 with a total score of 292 (4-above par).
"I learned a lot here at the Indonesia Open. We should never give up. As amateur there are two outcomes, win or lose. As a pro, every stroke counts. Because what position you end up in will impact many other things. That was advice that fellow pro golfer Mithun Perera gave me during my third round," he explained.
I'm satisfied enough. My main objective was to make the cut, and I achieved that. So my game was according plan, and I will work on improving in the upcoming tournaments", said the former PON XIX athlete from Banten.
Final scores of the Bank BRI-JCB Indonesia Open 2016 being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah course (am - denotes amateur):
272 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 71-65-68-68
275 - Danthai BOONMA (THA) 69-71-68-67, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 70-69-68-68, Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 67-66-73-69, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 71-66-66-72
276 - Dodge KEMMER (USA) 71-69-71-65, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 65-71-72-68
277 - Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 69-68-74-66, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 70-69-70-68, Akinori TANI (JPN) 72-69-66-70, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 73-62-71-71
278 - Janne KASKE (FIN) 68-67-75-68, Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 69-66-70-73
279 - Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 73-70-68-68, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 70-70-69-70, Danny MASRIN (INA) 68-72-67-72
280 - Nicolas PAEZ (USA) 68-71-71-70, Adam GROOM (AUS) 70-65-74-71, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-67-73-71, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 66-67-75-72, Javi COLOMO (ESP) 70-68-70-72.