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Bhulla finally breaks through


After 106 starts since 2014, Gaganjeet Bhullar has finally made his big breakthrough on the European Tour.

This when the 30-year-old mustachioed Indian from Punjab captured the Fiji International at the Natadola Bay Golf Club in spectacular fashion on Sunday.

He closed his round with a stunning, chip-in for an eagle at the 17th that thwarted the amazing 9-under, the final-round charge made by unheralded Australian Anthony Quayle and edged him home to victory by just one shot at 14-under. 

Bhullar had teed off on Sunday morning with a one-shot lead but found himself trailing late in the round after Quayle had posted two eagles and three birdies on the back nine for a 29 that together with three front-nine birdies saw him charge into the clubhouse lead with a 13-under 63

Bhullar's late eagle, however, changed all that. It edged him back into a one-shot lead and he never flinched on his way to that magic moment when parred the final hole and then punched the air triumphantly.

"I've been playing really well. It was just a matter of time," he told reporters afterwards. 

"It was a tough day. It was windy, the flags were tough but I played really well. I gave myself many, many opportunities today."

Four-time Major winner Ernie Els, one of the few South Africans playing in an event dominated by a large contingent of Australians, fired a final round 65 for a closing 12 under 276 and a share of third place with New Zealander Ben Campbell (66).

Quayle said he was not too disappointed to come up one stroke short.

"It was pretty awesome out there," he said. "I got to play with Ernie (Els) and played a pretty awesome back nine there. I'm pretty happy with it."

Els, now 48, chipped in for an eagle on the first and after his 7-under 65, he too was happy with his performance.

"I did almost as much as I could. I set out to try to shoot 65, which I did. Anthony (Quayle) just played unbelievably. Twenty-nine on the back nine? That's unbelievable stuff," Els added.

(Par 72)

274 Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 70 69 69 66    
275 Anthony Quayle (Aus) 75 66 71 63    
276 Ben Campbell (Nzl) 67 66 77 66, Ernie Els (Rsa) 72 70 69 65     
278 Felton Jarryd (Aus) 67 71 71 69    
280 Andrew Dodt(Aus) 67 70 72 71, Jake Mcleod (Aus) 72 67 70 71, Poom Saksansin (Tha) 73 68 71 68, Andrew Martin (Aus) 72 71 70 69, Mathew Millar (Aus)71 73 71 67     
283 Matthew Griffin (Aus) 69 72 71 71, Steven Jeffress (Aus) 73 66 75 69, Wu Ashun (Chn) 70 69 74 70    
284 Richard Green (Aus) 76 67 73 68, James Marchesani (Aus) 72 70 74 68. 

To place a bet on the upcoming tournament visit, BetWay

Neville Leck

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