New Delhi: Four-time Asian Tour winner Gaganjeet Bhullar of India is hoping his attachment to Jaypee Greens Golf Course will give him an advantage when the New Delhi venue hosts the Avantha Masters for the first time from March 14-17.
Bhullar has won as an amateur at Jaypee Greens but not since joining the professional ranks in 2006, and would dearly love to make his breakthrough with a win at his 'home' club.
By his own high standards, Bhullar's record in the Avantha Masters is moderate. But having recently finished in a tie for eighth place behind his compatriot Shiv Kapur in the Gujarat Kensville Challenge on the European Tour's Challenge Tour, the 24-year-old is confident of enhancing his burgeoning reputation when the fourth edition of the €1.8million event takes place next month.
Bhullar said: "My record in the Avantha Masters could be better, but my health wasn't great for the last two tournaments, so I'm hoping for much bigger and better things this time."
Bhullar reinforced his growing reputation on the Asian Tour last season with two victories in Taipei and Macau. Both victories came during a hot six-week streak which also included a runner-up finish in Malaysia. The talented Indian also enjoyed four other top-10s and ended the year in a career fifth place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
With the Avantha Masters being tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India, Bhullar is relishing the opportunity to serve notice of his talent at the high-profile event.
"I've been playing pretty well lately, so my form is good and my confidence is pretty high. Mentally, I'm feeling very sharp and positive, so hopefully I can get into contention coming down the stretch. I've won as an amateur at Jaypee Greens, so to get my first European Tour win there would be a dream come true," said Bhullar.
Jaypee Greens' 7,347 yards, par 72 layout was the longest course in Asia when it opened in 2000, and is still the longest - and the only Greg Norman design - in India.
One of Bhullar's main strengths is his long, straight hitting from the tee, and he is hoping his intimate knowledge of the course will stand him in good stead as he bids to become the second home player - after the 2011 champion SSP Chowrasia - to lift the Avantha Masters trophy.
Story first published on: Thursday, 21 February 2013 15:00 IST