Dreaming of a sweet maiden Asian Tour win

09-03-2017
DH

This is easily the most awaited week in Indian golf. The Hero Indian Open has a special ring to it. It evokes memories, it brings in excitement and above all a desire to win and take home that lovely trophy.

I was privileged to finish as the top amateur when the Hero Indian Open came to my hometown Bengaluru for the first and only time in 2012. Since then I have wanted to join the elite band of Indian players who have won it.

And what could be better than having the Hero Indian Open as my first Asian and European Tour win. It will open a whole new world for me. I have won twice on the Asian Development Tour but winning on European-Asian Tours would be so cool.

A little over month ago, I went for the formal announcement of the event in Delhi. I was reminded of its great history and there I also discovered that Hero has been sponsoring and supporting professional golf for 22 years – which means that they have been doing since I was a one year old! That is indeed a humbling thought.

Great fun

We all landed here in on Sunday-Monday and the week got off to a great start. On Tuesday, with Anirban sparkling as only he can – by emerging as the one with the longest drive, the best in bunker shots and then topping it by holing a 120-foot putt – the Indian team won the Hero Skills Challenge.

It was fun playing alongside Anirban, SSP Chawrasia and Shiv Kapur and we had Jeev sir as the captain. I am grateful to all these seniors for having made me feel at home.

Then on Wednesday our team, three amateurs, and myself won the Pro-Am. So that was another great omen. And now it is time for the main event.

By the way, the only time DLF hosted the Hero Indian Open before, it was won by C Muniyappa, a Bengalurean. And late last year, this same Gary Player course hosted the Hero Women’s Indian Open and it was won by a fellow Bengalurean Aditi Ashok.

And in this field, I will have for company, Anirban, my friend Udayan Mane and amateur Yashas Chandra, and all of us have Vijay Divecha Sir as our coach.

I am playing late in the afternoon and so will go in after getting to see how this lovely but absolutely new course behaves in tournament conditions. It has hosted two Hero Women’s Indian Open but this will be the first big men’s event. That should mean there is no home advantage for our players.

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