Rewind: When Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri bagged their maiden professional wins in the same season and at the same venue
Indian golfing stars Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri have a lot of parallels in their golfing careers. To begin with both Bhullar and Lahiri were part of the Indian team that won the silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. They then turned professional at around the same time. Interestingly, Gaganjeet and Anirban also went on to win their maiden professional titles in the same PGTI season in 2009 and that too at the same venue, the Panchkula Golf Club. Later on, both golfers won laurels for India on the international stage with victories on the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Here’s a recap of Bhullar and Lahiri’s first wins.
Gaganjeet Bhullar wins maiden professional title at PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club
Panchkula, Haryana, March 15, 2009: Gaganjeet Bhullar’s long wait for his first professional win finally came to an end when he posted a superb seven-under-65 on the final day of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club. The 20-year-old from Kapurthala won by a mammoth margin of seven strokes as he totaled 19-under-269 for the tournament. Bhullar has now become the youngest winner on the PGTI.
Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta and Vijay Kumar of Lucknow finished in tied second place with identical totals of 12-under-276.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (65-73-66-65) registered his breakthrough win as a professional with a clinical 65 that was highlighted by eight birdies and a lone bogey.
Bhullar, who had come close to winning on several occasions in the past, said, “It’s a special win because it’s my first since I turned professional in December 2006. I’ve waited a long time for this moment and there are no words to describe my joy. I attribute my win to my good driving and mental toughness this week.
“When I teed-off in the morning, I knew it would be a tough contest against the likes of experienced players such as Vijay Kumar and Harendra Gupta. However, I was aggressive from the very outset and that made all the difference. I am an aggressive player by nature and I stuck to that style of playing even today and did not try to do anything different,” added an elated Bhullar.
Anirban Lahiri bags maiden professional title with victory at Panchkula
Panchkula, Haryana, September 27, 2009: Bengaluru-based Anirban Lahiri posted a steady 69 in the final round of the PGTI’s Haryana Open 2009 Presented by HUDA and DLF to bag his maiden professional title. Lahiri totaled 10-under-278 for the tournament to finish one stroke ahead of fellow Bengalurean C Muniyappa at the challenging Panchkula Golf Club.
The 22-year-old Anirban Lahiri (69-69-71-69), who was tied fourth after round three, raised his title hopes after he made his third and fourth birdies of the day on the 10th and 12th to become the sole leader.
Lahiri, an Asian Tour regular, found the trees with his tee shot on the 16th but recovered well with two left-handed shots to make a bogey on that hole. Anirban then pulled it left on the final hole but made a terrific recovery yet again with a great seven-iron second shot from the rough and an accurate chip to round off his week on a high.
Lahiri said, “It’s a wonderful feeling to win my first ever professional title. I have waited a long time for this moment since I have been on the threshold of a win several times in the past but not really got there. I feel a lot lighter now after having achieved this milestone. It’s now time to build on this victory with equally good performances in the future.”
Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.
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