Gaganjeet Bhullar to defend Venetian Macau Open title

Updated: Aug 22, 2013, 17:50 PM IST

Macau: Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar today said he will return in October here to defend his Venetian Macau Open title, which he won in emphatic style last year.

"I have great memories of my win last year in Macau. I played consistently well throughout the four days and managed to hold off some really big names, which gave me a lot of confidence. I have every reason to believe I can repeat what I accomplished last year. I am looking forward to the challenge," Bhullar said.

Leading from start-to-finish, the young star triumphed on 16-under-par 268 total to win by two strokes ahead of American Jonathan Moore and Thai Thitiphun Chuayprakong.

The impressive Macau Golf & Country Club is a happy hunting ground for Bhullar, who also recorded a runner-up finish in 2009 when Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand was crowned champion.

Bhullar has four Asian Tour victories and 10 professional wins on the domestic Indian circuit to his name and will be eager to defend his Venetian Macau Open title, which takes place from October 17-20, to add to his impressive CV.

Bhullar will be in good company this year as multiple major winner Ernie Els of South Africa, who recently accepted an invitation to become an honorary members and international ambassador with the Asian Tour, confirmed his participation in the tournament a few weeks ago.

"It is fantastic news that Ernie will be in the field this year. The Venetian Macau Open is one of the most iconic and important events on the Asian Tour and to have such a great champion compete amongst us is great news for the players and the tournament itself," the 25-year-old said.

This year`s event boasts a total prize fund of USD 800,000, an increase of 6.25 per cent compared to last year.