Monday, July 16, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, Anirban Lahiri of India in action during the third round of the Maybank Malaysian Open at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on Feb 7 2015 in Malaysia. The US$3,000,000 million event co sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour will be played from Feb 05 – Feb 08 2015. (Photo by Khalid Redza/Asian Tour)Seeing the number of Indians playing across the world on different tours makes for a great reading and excites one of some good news or the other coming in from a different part of the world.

It is a great credit to the top pros who have braved the odds to make a name for themselves in Asia, Europe & the United States. Serious talent is out there playing on our greens and exciting times are ahead.

I would love them to soak in the experience of playing the world golf courses week in week out amongst elite fields and not be burdened by expectations as soon as they step up a level in terms of the tours.

Too often we have oversold our young stars and looked for excuses for mediocre results. Now is the time, let them just play and keep rooting for them to shoot red numbers.

As for the players, their focus solely needs to be on staying fit, managing their travel schedule, working hard on the range and letting their scores push the doors open to bigger events and making teams. The world is a stage for the likes of Anirban, Shubhankar, Aditi, SSP, Gaganjeet, Shiv, Ajeetesh, Vani, Sharmila and many of the upcoming contenders on world tours.

A great role model to follow is Justin Rose who is always in contention. Even if not winning, you will find almost always find him around the top of a tournament leaderboard. Consistency is second nature to the South African born Englishman as he invariably manages to carve out a top ten in most of the events he plays occasionally going on a final day roll to complete a win.

It is heartening to see many of our young and old boys competing on the Asian Tour and regularly being near the top of the leaderboard. Being our home international tour, I’d love to see us completely dominate the circuit in the very near future where we have at least one top five every week and notching up wins every other week.

That winning feeling and competing for the top prize regularly should serve a good starting point in the journey towards the top of the world rankings. If we achieve the above, there is no guarantee that the same will be replicated on the European Tour and even less on the PGA Tour, where new faces pop up faster than popcorn! But the intention has to be there to make headway and set a new world order.

As a nation, the essence of my thoughts in its absolute terms is for all to see with women’s golf in South Korea. Pak Se-Ri’s iconic victory at the LPGA Championship in 1998 sowed the seeds to wave of South Korean golfers who have swarmed the upper echelons of the women’s game.

One can sense our breakthrough moment is round the corner but first the boys and girls need to just keep doing what they do best, play some great golf and keep the noise that comes with it at a distance. Exciting times ahead!

 

July 18 

By Brandon de Souza

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