India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar saved his best performance for when it mattered most, shooting a course-record eight-under-par 64 to win the season-opening Asian Tour International today.
The 21-year-old had started the day six shots off the lead but sank an eagle and six birdies to win the $300,000 (€220,000) event by a single stroke.
South Korea’s Hwang Inn-choon signed for a 69 to claim second place while last year’s runner-up, Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan, took third after a 68.
Overnight leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand capitulated on the final day with a 73 seeing him drop down the leaderboard to finish tied fourth alongside Jbe Kruger of South Africa.
“It’s amazing. I have no words to describe it, I’m totally speechless,” said Bhullar.
“When I woke up this morning I just wanted to shoot a good number. I never ever thought I was going to shoot a 64 and win by one.
“It’s like a dream coming true. My first event of the year and winning at the start of the season will give me a lot of confidence.”
Bhullar’s round began in promising fashion with an eagle on the par-five second after his approach shot rolled to within three feet of the pin.
He added four birdies before the turn while further gains on the 15th and the last secured the thrilling victory.
“After 15, where I made a good curling putt, I told myself to make par on 16 and 17 and make birdie on 18,” he added. “Everything happened the way I decided. On 18, it was amazing. I told myself that the putt was to win the tournament.
“I’m sure my confidence will go up a long way. I’m looking forward to next week (Avantha Masters in India).
“It’s a big event and I love the DLF course as I’ve won there twice. Going back to play in front of the home crowd will give me a great sense of achievement.”