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Late eagle gives Bhullar Fiji victory past charging Quayle

WELLINGTON: A late chip-in eagle saw India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar hold off a charging Anthony Quayle to claim the Fiji International by one stroke on Sunday. Bhullar began the final day at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course with a one-shot lead but found himself trailing late in the day as the Australian Quayle came home in 29 and set the target at 13 under. But the eagle on the 17th moved Bhullar back into the lead and he held his nerve to par the last and sign in for a 66 and a one-shot victory over Quayle, who finished with a final round 63.

Four-time Major winner Ernie Els had a final round 65 to finish at 12 under for a share of third with New Zealander Ben Campbell.

It was Bhullar’s first win on the European Tour after 106 starts since 2014.

“I’ve been playing really well. It was just a matter of time,” he said.

“It was a tough day. It was windy, flags were tough but I played really well. I gave myself many, many opportunities today.”

Quayle shot two eagles and three birdies on the homeward nine to go with three birdies early in the day, and was not too disappointed to come up one stroke short.

“That was pretty awesome out there,” he said. “I got to play with Ernie (Els) and played a pretty awesome back nine there. I’m pretty happy with it,” Quayle added.

A bogey on the 16th essentially ended Campbell’s chances but he bounced back with a birdie on the 17th in a 66.

Els chipped in for an eagle on the first and although seven under for the day, he doubted he could have done much better.

“I did almost as much as I could. I set out to try to shoot 65, which I did, and Anthony (Quayle) just played unbelievable. Jeez, what is it, 29 on the back nine? That’s unbelievable stuff,” Els said.

Australian Jarryd Felton had a final round 69 to finish fifth at 10 under, two shots clear of countrymen Andrew Dodt and Jake McLeod, and Thailand’s Poom Saksansin. — AFP

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