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.