India's rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar says being on top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit will not add unwanted pressure in his search for glory at the US$2.75 million Maybank Malaysian Open which starts on Thursday.
Bhullar, a four-time Asian Tour winner, enjoyed a second place finish at the Avantha Masters in India last weekend thanks to a battling final round of eight-under-par 64. The result propelled him to the summit of the Order of Merit with winnings of US$262,648.
"If I can carry this form till the end of the season then I will feel some pressure. There are many big tournaments. Subconsciously it is in my mind that I'm leading the Order of Merit and that's one of my goals to win it but there's no pressure as of now," said the 24-year-old.
The young Indian took pride in his never-say-never attitude and is determined to make amends for his close shave at this week's Maybank Malaysian OpenÂ which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
"I played really well last week. I hit the ball really good and putted okay. I'm riding high on my confidence and I have a lot of expectations. I'm feeling really good about my game. This is definitely one of my favourite destinations in Asia," he added.
Currently ranked 85th in the world, Bhullar is eyeing a move up the World Golf Rankings to boost his chance of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
For him to fulfil his dream, he know he must overcome the challenges from former world number one Luke Donald of England, Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Tournament champion and multiple major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland at the Malaysian Open.
Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Jeev Milkha Singh of India, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Liang Wen-chong of China, all former Asian Tour number ones are also in the elite field.
"It will mean a lot. You represent you country and try to win a medal. I represented my country in the Asian Games and that's a big thing for us. We won a silver medal as well and I remember being invited by the government to a lot of public and private functions. Being an Olympian gives you a tag for life and it gives you a great sense of achievement for anybody.
"I'm really concentrating on my world rankings. At the end of the day it is all about your world rankings. The higher you go the more opportunities you get and more doors will open for you," said Bhullar.