Ajeetesh Sandhu gears up for Jeev Milkha Singh Championshiphttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/golf/ajeetesh-sandhu-gears-up-for-jeev-milkha-singh-championship-6073203/

Ajeetesh Sandhu gears up for Jeev Milkha Singh Championship

Ajeetesh Sandhu is leading the challenge at the Second Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Championship, which began on Wednesday in Chandigarh, and the local lad sees the second-place in Taiwan as a motivating factor.

Ajeetesh Sandhu gears up for Jeev Milkha Singh Championship
Ajeetesh Sandhu finished a credible second in Taiwan, climbing up to the 15th spot in the Asian Order of Merit. (Express Photo)

Earlier this year, Chandigarh golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu altered his equipment before playing in the Japan Tour. The 31-year-old changed his driver and the shaft of 3-wood before playing in Japan and then, at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in Taiwan, earlier this month.

Sandhu finished a credible second in Taiwan, climbing up to the 15th spot in the Asian Order of Merit. At present, the Chandigarh golfer is leading the challenge at the Second Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Championship presented by Take Solutions, which begun on Wednesday, and Sandhu sees the second-place in Taiwan as a motivating factor.

“It was a bit disappointing to finish second and not win the title. But it also feels good when one is in contention for the title and it means that whatever I was doing, was in the right direction. The course at Taiwan Golf and Country Club is like Chandigarh Golf Course as it is also a tree-lined course. The difference was the windy conditions and I had to counter it. I had changed my driver before playing in Japan this year and also changed the 3-wood shaft. It helped me in Taiwan. I took many positives from the second-place finish. I have also been doing meditation since the last five years. It helps my game,” said the golfer.

Sandhu’s second-place finish in Taiwan was his second top-three finish on the Asian Tour this year. The Chandigarh golfer had won the Yeangder TPC title in 2017 and the same year saw him winning the Taiyeho Club Challenge Tournament on the Japan Challenge Tour in Saitama, Japan. Last year, Sandhu had finished third in the Panasonic Open India and the golfer will be contesting this year too.

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With the Olympic qualification starting early this year, with top 60 golfers (nation-wise ranking criteria) competing in 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Sandhu is hopeful of booking his spot for Tokyo. “I will be playing in the Thailand Open before playing in the Panasonic Open in India, apart from other Asian tour events and Japan Tour events before January. I love playing in Japan as the conditions there suit my game a lot. The roughs in Japan are high and the greens are firm and fast, which are apt for me. One of my aims will be to finish in top-five of the Asian Order of Merit, which will also help me gain entry into some European tour events. The next one year is crucial for me as it’s also the Olympic qualification year and to play in the Tokyo Olympic will be a dream come true for me,” said Sandhu.

Last year, Sandhu had finished 24th in the first edition of the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational Championship. Sandhu has been acquainted with the Chandigarh Golf Course for long and believes that he can aim for a top finish here this week.