Bhullar to join Jeev at British Open in Turnberry

Friday, July 10, 2009

gaganjeetNEW DELHI - India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar will join Jeev Milkha Singh, as he realises his childhood dream of playing in the worlds oldest major at the British Open in Turnberry next week.

Bhullar, at 20, the youngest Indian to get an entry into a Major, has blossomed into one of Indias leading professionals after being a top-notch amateur.

The top amateur of 2004 was part of the team that won India a silver medal at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.

Bhullar turned professional within weeks of that success.

Since turning professional and joining the play for pay ranks on the Asian Tour in 2006, Bhullar has been billed as one of the hottest young stars to come out of the Tour.

I have been watching the British Open since I was a kid and it has always been my dream to play there,” said the 20-year-old year Indian from Kapurthala, who enjoyed 10 amateur wins in the domestic circuit.

After earning the right to be at Turnberry by winning the International Final Qualifying - Asia at Sentosa Golf Club in April, Asian golf fans will now await with bated breath on just how well the young Indian talent will perform against the game’s elite.

I’ll just keep myself relaxed irrespective of the big names in the field. Whenever I play with a free mind, I’ll get good results. My goal is to play in all four rounds in Turnberry which I am confident Ill do, said Bhullar, also the youngest Indian to qualify for the British Open at the age of 20.

Playing alongside the best players in the world will give me confidence. Ill learn a lot of new things and itll do a world of good for my game, he said.

As Bhullar prepares himself for his maiden Major debut, he is also counting on sound advice from his sports psychologist to give him an extra edge.

The mental aspect of the game is always crucial and Ive managed to turn my game around by following my doctors advice of sticking closely to my usual routine without getting too distracted by the end result, said Bhullar, who credits sports psychologist Pradeep Aggarwal for turning his game around.

Once I get into the rhythm of playing my own game, the results will naturally come, said Bhullar.

Bhullar has already posted three top-10 finish on the Asian Tour this season. He also came agonisingly close to winning his maiden title during his rookie year at the 2007 Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational, losing out to Juvic Pagunsan by a single shot when the Filipino eagled the final hole.

Bhullar will be part of a strong Asian Tour contingent who will feature in the years third major.

Joining him in the starting line-up at the Ailsa Course at Turnberry are fellow compatriot Jeev Milkha Singh, Thailands Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng, Chinas Liang Wen-chong, New Zealands Mark Brown and the Australian duo of Terry Pilkadaris and Tim Stewart.

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