With early start,Bhullar hoping to make a mark at Turnberry

With a world war on,among the more practical uses of a golf course would be to use the flat space as an air base. So it’s no wonder that in 1942,Ailsa Craig...

Written by Aabha Rathee | New Delhi | Published:July 11, 2009 1:18 am

With a world war on,among the more practical uses of a golf course would be to use the flat space as an air base. So it’s no wonder that in 1942,Ailsa Craig,the rocky dome in the Irish Sea that overlooks Turnberry,found itself watching over fighter planes trying to skip the wind-kissed course’s brook and bunkers during landings.

Scotland’s coast-hugging golf course has since been redesigned and reopened,and starting next Thursday will host its fourth British Open with the nasty wind a huge test of skills.

Gaganjeet Bhullar knew he would be in a for a big challenge when,back in April,he qualified for the year’s third Major,and two days into practising at the venue,he knows the decision to come in early was the right one.

“It does take some getting used to,” Bhullar said of the wind,talking on phone with The Indian Express on Friday. “It’s worse when it comes onto you,as on the first three holes. The tailwind would be aan advantage while hitting,but it’s the headwind that you need to figure out.”

Bhullar has been in Scotland for almost 10 days as he tries to make this experience a happier memory than just the thrill of being only the sixth Indian to play this Major. He spent last week playing at the Royal Troon,but the 21-year-old hopes to put in 6-7 rounds of practice at Turnberry before stepping onto what will be his most nerve-jangling tee-off till now.

“I will play a practice round with Jeev (Milkha Singh,the only other Indian name on the tournament entry list),” Bhullar says,adding that he is looking ahead to Sunday when more players start turning up at the venue.

All charged up

“At the moment,we’re only 7-8 players who don’t have a tournament commitment this week,who’re out practising. But Sunday is when everyone is expected to start coming in,so I’m looking forward to it. But the buzz is already there,the set-up of the course,and just being here is charging me up,” Bhullar said. “The course is set up beautifully,and I’m going to enjoy playing the tournament immensely.”

Bhullar has been working with British caddy Andrew Dearden to give him a better insight of dealing with the battling weather conditions. “I’m working on by ball flight everyday,and Andrew has been helping me figure out the right clubs,” Bhullar said.

“The sun has been out the last two days,but the weather tends to be unpredictable and I will have to guard against getting affected by it.”

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