YOUNG LIKE US He may have learnt the game from his parents but personally Gaganjeet follows Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa. KAMESH SRINIVASAN
He is the new kid on the block in the rich world of Indian golf. Gaganjeet Bhullar is only 21, but has been playing golf for the last 17 years.
“My parents play the game every day. I used to walk with my dad on the course and started playing once a week. It became twice a week, thrice, four times etc. over a period of time”, he recalls. The amicable young man vividly remembers finishing second in the under-10 competition in Mumbai when he was eight. He showed the Trophy to his school and to everyone around. The incentive of becoming famous glued him further to the game. Soon, he was rushing to the golf course immediately on his return from school every day.From humble beginnings, Gaganjeet has moved forward by leaps and bounds, to become the youngest Indian to win the title on the Asian Tour recently. That has already forced the experts to conclude that he is a worthy follower of the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa.
Gaganjeet was part of the silver winning Indian team in the Asian Games in Doha in 2006, and has since turned professional. He is waiting anxiously to see whether he would be eligible to represent the country in the Asian Games next year in Guangzhou (China). Of course, he is keen to be right up there when golf makes it to the Olympics in Rio in 2016.It has been a memorable season for him, as Gaganjeet finished runner up in Brunei the week after winning the Indonesian President Invitational event. He had missed an eight-foot birdie putt on the last hole to win that tournament in Brunei and eventually missed out on the title in the play-off. He has also won five titles on the Indian Tour.
“My hitting has been quite good. I did not read the greens that well”, he says, slightly disappointed at not having finished the year strongly. He knows that his time would come, and that he would only get better with time. “If anything, the game has taught me the importance of patience. It is the key”, he says. Gaganjeet is keen to qualify for the European Tour and graduate eventually to the USPGA. “That is the dream of every golfer”, he points out.
The golf course back home in Kapurthala is hardly a kilometre from his home, but that does not deter Gaganjeet from driving his Mercedes sports model car. He loves the machine so much that he drives it whenever he gets a chance.Gaganjeet likes to watch sports on television, and is a great fan of English Premier League, apart from tennis, especially when the action happens to be at Wimbledon. “I am a great fan of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. They both are equally good. I like Nadal more because of his attitude. He never shows any emotions, whether he is happy or sad”, he says.Closer home, Gaganjeet expects a further boom for golf in the country, with the government coming in a big way in setting up new courses and driving ranges, apart from supporting the game.
Popularity: 1% [?]