It’s a case of so near, yet so far at Hero Indian Open

SSP Chawrasia has finished runners-up at the Indian Open on four occasions - 1999, 2006, 2013 and 2015.

Updated: March 17, 2016 11:47 am
India Open golf, India open, golf India Open, Anirban Lahiri, Lahiri, Jeev Milkha Singh, Rio Olympics, Olympics, Rio 2016, 2016 Olympics, Rio 2016, Olympics, golf news, golf SSP Chawrasia says that he would love to win the Hero Indian Open. (Source: AP file)

By SSP Chawrasia

The Indian Open was my first brush with a big ticket event. Several years ago, after I had made my entry into professional golf, I played the Indian Open at my home course, the RCGC and I came close to winning it, before Arjun Atwal, who I have known for almost two decades, won it. At that time, I was barely 19 and thought I had it in me to win the event. That’s what gave me the confidence. The year was 1999.

It is now 17 years since that day. Since then I have finished runner-up on three other editions of this marquee event —in 2006, 2013 and 2015. But I had three big wins — twice in co-sanctioned events and another on Asian Tour. But if you ask, I would love to win the Hero Indian Open. It means so much to win my National Open. The two co-sanctioned wins opened the doors for me and took me to Europe, where I have played for eight years . As for the DGC, I have had good memories of this course because I have played well here. Last year I played well, except the final round.

At this moment I am playing very well, though in the last couple of events I didn’t play all that well. But overall, I feel happy about the way I am playing. I have also worked on my putting. I am pretty excited that golf has been included in the Olympics. It’s very good for the game. I am focusing my game so that I can make it to the Indian team for the Olympics. I hope I can seal my place in the Indian team this week. So in that respect I am pretty excited about it. So I will try my best and see what happens.

This is a short course, and I am not a very long hitter. So, on this course if you chip and putt well and land the ball straight then you get good results. I try to play safe over here. I don’t use a driver; I use a 3-wood and hybrid. That’s what I try to do every time I go out there. The course is in very good condition. If you compare it to last year, this time the course is playing really well. The green are in great condition. I have really enjoyed the practice round over here.

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