Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jeev Milkha Singh gear up for USD 750,000 Myanmar Open challenge

19 January 2017, 11:26 AM
Jeev Milkha Singh - File Photo
Jeev Milkha Singh - File Photo

India's ace golfers Gaganjeet Bhullar and veteran Jeev Milkha Singh are fully geared to take on a highly competitive field in the USD 750,000 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open title which starts in Yangoon next week.

The powerful Bhullar will be amongst the leading contenders, while two-time Asian number one Singh hopes a long-awaited return to the Golden Land will deliver another piece of silverware to his trophy cabinet.

The Indian duo will be joined by other leading names including KT Kim of Korea, who won three times in Japan last year, reigning Japan Golf Tour number one Yuta Ikeda and Thai rising star Pavit Tangkamolprasert at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club from January 26 to 29.

Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, a two-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, will also feature in the popular event alongside last year's multiple winner Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei in the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

South African star Shaun Norris has confirmed he will defend his crown in what is the second leg of the Asian Tour's 2017 season.

Bhullar, who finished 10th on the final Order of Merit last year, is hoping to catch fire again early in the season to maintain his hot form.

"I've worked really hard in pre-season. I ended the second half of 2016 on a very positive note by winning twice and it was great to win again. There was a lot of positivity around the end of the year and the hard work paid off. It feels really good," said the 28-year-old Bhullar, who is a seven-time winner.

He remembers competing at the Pun Hlaing course in 2010 where he finished tied 43rd and believes the co-sanction programme with the Japan Golf Tour was another great way for Asian golfers to develop their careers.

"It's always a great atmosphere in Myanmar. We're heading to a golf course which will be fun. It's a challenging course with a lot wind. I looked at the entry lists yesterday and I saw a lot of tournament winners from the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour will be there.

So, it's going to be stiff competition between players from the two Tours. These sort of tournaments will give us a great opportunity to showcase our talents and take our games to the next level," said Bhullar.

The Indian won the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea and Bank BRI-JCB Indonesia Open within a span of two months towards the end of last year but he is not resting on his laurels.

"I would like to further improve on my putting. I looked at my stats and I've been improving over the past few years but under the gun, I would love to improve on the pressure-making putts. It's something which I will be working hard at it in this new season," he said.

First Published: Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:13 AM
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