Yangon: Four weeks after his heroic effort of landing four birdies in the last five holes to secure his 2013 Asian Tour card, Rahil Gangjee will begin his quest to re-establish himself on the Tour that first made him as a `future star` back in 2004.
Gangjee, who played the last two seasons on the Web.Com Tour, will be one of the seven Indians to tee up at the Zaykabar Myanmar Open, which heralds the start of the historic 10th season of the Asian Tour.
Interestingly, Gangjee was the first Indian to win a title on the then newly-established Asian Tour in 2004. "Wow, that`s sometime back. How things have changed," remarked Gangjee, who was then playing in his Rookie Year on Asian Tour.
The other Indian to have won that year was Jyoti Randhawa in Thailand.
"The Asian Tour is where I made my name back in 2004 with the win in Volkswagen Masters ? China. Though I did not win again, I did make a mark and kept my card for a while before moving to US for the Nationwide (now Web.Com) Tour. Now I am back and I see the Asian Tour has grown so big," said Gangjee, whose recent form in domestic events has shown that he is on the right track.
Gangjee`s team Delhi Darts finished second in the star-studded Golf Premier League and he also warmed by playing at Kensville and another domestic event.
As many as seven Indians are in the field, including Himmat Rai, winner of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic in 2011, ADT winner Sujjan Singh, who is coming off a medical exemption, Chiragh Kumar, the 2011 Indian Open runner-up, rising star Ajeetesh Sandhu, Shankar Das, member of the winning team at the Golf Premier League back in India and Vinod Kumar, who also interestingly played one tournament, the Indian Open, on the Asian Tour in its inaugural year in 2004.
Gangjee feels that the growth of golf and Indian talent can be seen in the number of Asian Tour events in India and also the way Indian have been doing well on the Tour.
"We have a bunch of players who can win anytime and as far as I think some Indian player has won each year on the Tour. And I personally would like to have a good go this season," he added.
Incidentally, Gangjee played a few select events in 2011 and 2012, both times when he was free from Web.Com Tour. In 2012, he played just four events and made cut in two, while a year earlier in 2011 he played six events, making cut in four.
Sujjan Singh, who is coming off a medical exemption after he injured his hand, said, "Coming back after a break, I almost feel like a rookie and am looking forward to doing well. My hand is better now and I hope to do well."
Sujjan Singh used the route of the Asian Development Tour to get back into shape by winning the Taman Dayu Championships in Indonesia, is back on a medical exemption.