Macau: India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar announced he will return to Macau in October to defend his Venetian Macau Open title, which he won in emphatic style last year. 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 was in the middle of a hot streak last year when he won the tournament, one of the most prestigious events on the Asian Tour. Just four weeks prior, he tasted victory at the Yeangder Tournament Players’ Championship in Chinese Taipei, beating the very player who pipped him at the 2009 Macau Open. He followed up with solid performances in China and Singapore to complete a successful 2012.
Born in Amritsar, India, Bhullar has four Asian Tour victories and 10 professional wins on the domestic Indian circuit to his name and he will be eager to defend his Venetian Macau Open title, which takes place from 17 to 20 October, to add to his impressive CV.
“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 like the course at the Macau Golf & Country Club a lot and have every reason to believe I can repeat what I accomplished last year. I am looking forward to the challenge.”
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,” he added.
Jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG. Following a successful foray into the world of golf last year, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel recently announced it will return as title sponsor of the event for a second successive year.
In addition to The Venetian Macao, other sponsors of the 2013 Venetian Macau Open include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macau, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.
The Venetian Macau Open will once again be a free entry event for golf fans from around the world to enjoy live world-class professional golf in one of the best-loved destinations for leisure and business travel in Asia.
Since its inauguration in 1998, the tournament has been graced by the presence of some of the best golfers the world has ever seen, including Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara. This year’s event boasts a total prize fund of US$800,000, an increase of 6.25% compared to last year.