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Challenge in store for defending champ Gleeson at Indian Open

CBSSports.com wire reports

BANGALORE, India -- Defending champion David Gleeson will have to contend with a host of local golfers led by Gaganjeet Bhullar in the Indian Open, which moves to the Karnataka Golf Association Course this year from New Delhi.

Gleeson, an Australian who won the tournament at the Delhi Golf Club last year with a score of 20-under 268, is hoping to regain form after losing it late last year due to a stomach infection that led to a string of missed cuts.

"My form fell off completely because I had a stomach infection which I couldn't get rid of for five months," Gleeson was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. "It was a shame because I was playing so well. I got so weak that I had to change my driver to try and get the ball going. But I've regained my health now and my game is slowly coming back.

"Whenever you go back to a tournament which you've won before, there's always a good vibe and feeling. I heard the golf course is good and I'm going to a new city and that's always good fun," added the three-time winner on the Asian Tour.

In contrast to Gleeson, Bhullar is in the midst of a memorable season that has taken him to fifth in the Asian Tour Order of Merit with a victory at the Macau Open last week.

"There're a lot of big weeks coming up. Singapore, Hong Kong, Johor and the Indian Open. A few good weeks can jump my ranking to No. 1," Bhullar said ahead of this week's tournament.

Bhullar said he and other young Indian golfers were hoping to catch up with their idol Jeev Milkha Singh in terms of title wins.

"Jeev has won about 13 international titles and I've only won four. The number is increasing. Jeev is our idol and one day we'll try to catch up," Bhullar said.

The field includes 40 Asian Tour winners and 11 from among the top 20 on the current Order of Merit.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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