SIGATOKA, Fiji - India's Gaganjeet Bhullar held off a record-breaking charge from Australian Anthony Quale Sunday to win the Fiji International by one stroke while Ernie Els shot a 7-under 65 to finish a further stroke behind.
Bhullar, the overnight leader by a shot, produced his best round of the tournament, a 6-under 66, to move to 14 under over four rounds at the par-72 Natadola Bay course. Quayle went lower, shooting a course-record 9-under 63 to all but snatch the trophy and the winner's share of a $1.2 million purse.
Bhullar and Quayle shared 11 birdies and three eagles in a thrilling final round duel while Els added an eagle and six birdies for his first top-10 finish since June 2016.
New Zealand's Ben Campbell, leader after the first and second rounds, tied Els in third place at 12 under while Australian Jarryd Felton was fifth, two shots back.
The par-5 17th played a big part in the theater of the final round as Quayle and Bhullar made back-to-back eagles. Quayle had taken the lead at 13-under as he played his first 14 holes in 7 under par and had picked up nine shots in 13 holes when he eagled the 17th.
But the 30-year-old Bhullar snatched back the lead when he chipped in from 40 meters at the 17th just as Quayle reached the clubhouse. A par at the last was enough to retain the lead and to give him his fourth Asian Tour title in three seasons.
''To be honest, I was mentally prepared for that,'' Bhullar said. ''I knew somebody or another had to go low today. Even Ernie Els, he's a legend, he was playing really well.
''I still had hopes. I still had kind of a feeling that I can still win the tournament, but I think that chip-in on No. 17, that pretty much closed out the day.''
Four-time major winner Els gave notice of his challenge with an eagle at the par-5 first which put him within a shot of the lead.
''I did almost as much as I could,'' Els said. ''I set out to try to shoot 65, which I did, and Anthony just played unbelievable. Jeez, what is it, 29 on the back nine? That's unbelievable stuff.''