Written by SSP Chawrasia
If there is one event that is an all-time favourite of mine, it is the Indian Open and I have been playing in it for close to two decades. The other day, somebody mentioned it was exactly 20 years ago that Arjun Atwal won the event. Well, it is exactly 20 years since I first came close to winning it — I finished second behind Arjun that year and I was still in my teens.
It took me many more attempts and I was runner-up three times more, before finally winning it. So, this is the event where I have had my best moments – sure there have been other wins, but the National Open is something else.
So winning the Hero Indian Open in 2016 and 2017 at two courses as different as the Delhi Golf Club, suits me and the Gary Player course, which is regarded as one of the toughest in India, maybe even Asia, has been a matter of great pride.
Sure, I have won it twice, but of late my results have not been as good as they could have been or should have been. But, I know it can all change in a week and hopefully happy and positive memories of this course and Hero Indian Open can get my game back on track.
In the last couple of years, I have not really been able to do justice to my abilities, especially on European courses. It’s not that everyone there is a long hitter. There are a few players whose game is like mine, and they still manage to get good results.
The priority for me at the moment is to make sure I keep my card, and that sometimes can create its own pressure.
People often talk about chipping and putting being the strongest aspects of my game but that has not been up to par in recent times. There have been quite a few occasions where I have missed putts that I normally hardly ever would, and that is one area I have been working very hard on.
Having said that, I have won the Indian Open on this course before so that itself is a big advantage for me. This course can be managed if one really applies some thought, and my Pro-Am round this morning was a big help in getting a feel of how it has been set up this time. It has been a little over 20 years since I came to pro golf and I sure would love to add a few more wins to the six I already have and four of them have been on European Tour, too. With that as my motivating thought I am all set for another crack at the Hero Indian Open.
(SSP Chawrasia won The Indian Open in 2016 and 2017).