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Bhullar finishes 44th; Host and champ Choi wins again

Yeoju (Korea), Oct 7, 2012, (PTI) 17:48 IST

Lone Indian in the fray, Gaganjeet Bhullar finished the weekend on a modest note with rounds of 72 and 71 to sign off at tied 44th place at the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi.

Bhullar, who played with the tournament host KJ Choi for the first two day, had three birdies, including one on the closing 18th, and three bogeys in his 71.

Defending champion Choi retained the title with a closing four-under 67 to finish at 15-under 269. Just as he did last year, Choi will once again donate his total winnings of USD 118, 875 to his KJ Choi Foundation.

Choi was elated with his win but was at the same time very humble. He said, "I've always said that this tournament is all about giving back to the community and that's what I'm going to do with my winnings. I'll never be where I'm today if not for golf and the great support from everyone," said Choi.

Korea's Bae Sang-moon, who was piling the pressure on Choi until a bogey-six on the 14th hole dented his confidence, had to settle for a share of second place with compatriot Jang Dong-kyu on 271.

Korea's Kim Dae-hyun, who shared the third round lead with Choi, signed for a 71 to take fourth place while Australia's Scott Hend and seven-time Asian Tour winner, Charlie Wi of Korea took a share of fifth place after they closed with matching 70s for a 274 total.

Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil's putting touch deserted him on the final day and he finished in seventh place, six shots back of Choi at the USD 750,000 which is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour.

After heavy fog had caused much delay to play over the last two days, Choi had to return in the morning to complete his remaining nine holes for his third round.

The Asian Tour honorary member was still trying to find the rhythm in his game as he marked his inward-nine with one bogey and one birdie.

After taking a 15-minute break between rounds, Choi came out strongly with two birdies in his opening four holes. He dropped a shot on the ninth but demonstrated the composure and experience of a champion by answering back with a hat-trick of birdies starting from the 11th hole.

Choi then parred the rest of his holes coming home to seal his sixth Asian Tour victory.

Chinnarat had high hopes coming into the final round after he took the second round lead and trailed Choi and Kim by one heading into the final round. But three bogeys in his last seven holes saw him lose ground with Choi and prolonged his wait for his fourth Asian Tour title.

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