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India's Gaganjeet Bhullar believes he can produce another standout performance that will see become the next Indian to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit when the UBS Hong Kong Open tees off on Thursday. Bhullar, who has already won two Asian Tour titles this season, is bidding to add to India's proud record of having produced the most number of Merit champions.
Jyoti Randhawa became the country's first Asian number one in 2002 followed by Arjun Atwal in 2003 before Jeev Milkha Singh secured a double with wins in 2006 and 2008.
The talented 24-year-old, who is currently fourth on the rankings, credits his fighting spirit and a disciplined fitness regime which has conditioned him well for playing in his 12th straight tournament since Switzerland in August.
"I'm glad I've improved on my mental and physical fitness over the years and they've been keeping me going and helping me play more tournaments each week," said Bhullar.
"This is my 12th tournament in a row since the start of the second half season and I'm planning to take some time off after Hong Kong," added Bhullar.
The Indian, who is regarded as a member of the new generation of young stars to emerge from the Asian Tour, is happy with his improved performance and is looking forward to his renewed challenge at the UBS Hong Kong Open as well as the Order of Merit title.
"Subconsciously, winning the Order of Merit title is at the back of my mind and it would be really great if I can take a step closer to winning it this week," said Bhullar.
"The way that I've been striking the ball and putting will definitely allow me to get some good scores this week. The season is coming to an end now and it'll get really interesting on the Order of Merit and the world golf ranking as well," added Bhullar.
Meanwhile Asian Tour honorary member, Y.E. Yang of Korea, who enjoyed a top-10 finish in Singapore last week, is hopeful of continuing his good run at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
"I'm glad that I'm shitting the ball well although I need to put in more work on my putting. It was a long week in Singapore but I'm recharged and I can't wait to go out there and put myself back into contention again," said Yang, who became Asia's first Major winner when he won the PGA Championship in 2009.
Bhullar and Yang will be up against defending champion and world number one Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland as well as members of the victorious Ryder Cup team that include Scotland's Paul Lawrie, Spain's Miguel Angel JimÃ©nez, and Captain JosÃ© MarÃa OlazÃ¡bal at the 54th edition of Hong Kong's longest-running sporting event.
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