Himmat optimistic of finishing on high at Indian Open

Last Updated: Oct 04, 2011, 18:03 PM IST

New Delhi: An Asian Tour and a domestic title under his belt in the span of just a few weeks, in-form young Indian golfer Himmat Rai is now focused on the Hero Indian Open where he tees up alongside a stellar field despite the absence of some home-grown bigwigs such as Jeev Milkha Singh.

The 24-year-old golfer, however, wants to avoid the stress of expectations in the absence of top Indian players and says that once on the course, the strength of the field hardly matters.

"Every participant is a thorough professional and it hardly matters against whom you are competing once you set your foot on the course," Himmat said.

"I will just focus on my game and try to get the best possible result from the tournament," he added.

Himmat, who comes to the tournament on the back of a successful season, winning an Asian Tour event in Singapore last month before clinching the DLF Masters in Gurgaon, said it has been a gradual evolution since his first professional win in 2009.

"It has been a gradual journey that began with finding a good team. I work hard on my game during the off season and try to give the best on the course," the golfer said.

The youngster said sports psychologist, Andrea Furst of Australia, who has been consistently working with him, has helped him become more focused.

"She has been a great help. She helped me a lot in overcoming stress and remaining focused on the busy professional calender," revealed Himmat.

Despite being unique in certain ways, the golfer remains optimistic about the Delhi Golf Course -- venue for the championship, which is scheduled to commence from October 13.

"Some rough areas have been worked upon and the course has been now closed for 10 days ahead of the tournament.

"I have played here before and it has always been a pleasure," Himmat said, adding that it was an honour to be a part of country`s top golfing event.

It is, though, not going to be an easy outing for the youngster, with the likes of two-time European Tour winner, Edoardo Molinari and defending champion Rikard Karlberg of Sweden featuring in the USD 1.25 million tournament.

"Edoardo is a good player, he has won the European Tour twice. It is good to have him for the tournament," said Himmat, who sank 25-foot birdie putt on the sixth extra hole to clinch an enthralling victory at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic last month.

PTI