‘It’s all or nothing this week so I know I have to come out of the blocks fast' – Bhullar

The win at the Indonesian Masters gave me a real high and hopefully, I can continue that momentum this week

By Gaganjeet Bhullar

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Dubai Golden Visa Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar (India) in action on the golf course. - Supplied photo
Dubai Golden Visa Awardee Gaganjeet Bhullar (India) in action on the golf course. - Supplied photo

Published: Wed 6 Dec 2023, 8:16 AM

I arrived on Monday in Dubai and I will drive up to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday for this week’s LIV Golf Promotions at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

This week is very exciting for all the players in the field.I have played the National Course several times during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the DP World Tour.

My strongest memory of playing the golf course was in 2014 when I shot opening rounds of 73, 68 and 66 and then played in the final group on the final day along with Phil Mickelson and Craig Lee.

I did not play my best golf on that Sunday and eventually finished in tied 10th with Pablo Larrazabal taking the Falcon Trophy and the top cheque.

On Wednesday I hope to hit a few balls and begin to acclimatize. I might even play nine holes.

The golf course layout suits my eye as I am a natural fader of the ball.

I last played tournament golf in Indonesia when I won on the Asian Tour and then had two weeks off back in India.

Three days of no golf and then it was back to the grind on the range.

I had been playing well at the start of this year and somehow I always knew I would finish the season strongly.

My game started to come together in August when I finished tied 5th in Scotland at St Andrew's Bay, then third in the year-ender TPC (Tournament Players Club) and another tied 5th in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters - three tournaments in a row for me.

I was patient throughout, which is not always an easy mindset in golf, and going into Indonesia in mid-November, I was 43rd on the Asian Tour Order of Merit Ranking with only the top 40 qualifying for Abu Dhabi. I always had my eye on Abu Dhabi but I knew I had to play well to jump up the merit table and get in.

The win at the Indonesian Masters, the 11th of my Asian Tour career, was just what I needed. It gave me a real high and hopefully, I can continue that momentum this week.

My Saturday start this week with a bye in round one will be unusual, so I know I have to come out of the blocks fast.

It is all or nothing this week, with life-changing experiences for the top three come Sunday night.

My caddie, Englishman Nathan Mulrooney, will be joining me this week. He was not on my bag for the win in Indonesia – I had a local female caddie.

I am currently fourth in the Asian Tour Rankings and I am keen to finish well and will be flying to Riyadh on Monday, for the $1 million Saudi Open presented by Public Investment Fund for the final event of my Asian Tour season.

It has been a long time since I played 36 holes in one day – which I hope to make by being in the top 20 on Saturday night and then there is a re-set.

It is a first for us all this week.

Fingers crossed I can come out on top – or top three this week.

By the way, there is a $1.5 million purse for the tournament – but all our eyes are on a bigger prize.

I feel excited about what is ahead of me this week.

Wish me luck!

Gaganjeet Bhullar is an Arjuna Award-winning golfer from India and a Dubai Golden VISA Awardee.


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