New Delhi: After a not-too-impressive show at the Avantha Masters last week, Indian golfers will seek redemption at the Asian Tour and PGTI co-sanctioned SAIL-SBI Open to be played at the Delhi Golf Club from Wednesday.
Out of the 31 Indian golfers in fray at the Avantha Masters, Delhi`s Shamim Khan managed best in 22nd place, while defending champion SSP Chowrasia finished further down the order at tied 48th place.
Chowrasia, who is coming off a soft tissue injury on his forearm, is looking forward to up his game in the USD 300,000 tournament to be played on the stage of his biggest career win at the Emmar-MGF Indian Masters in 2008.
"I was doing most things right, I was hitting well, but for some reason the putts didn`t fall. Though, I would have loved to finish higher up the order, I don`t intend to think much about last week.”
"I am looking forward to this week`s SAIL Open. I have lots of happy memories from the Delhi Golf Club; I have lots of positives to look forward to. You can say that I have already moved on," said the 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit No.3.
Nothing went right for another high performer Gaganjeet Bhullar. With scores of 75 and 73 in the first two rounds, the Kapurthala golfer missed the cut.
"My short game let me down this week. I drove the ball very well but let myself down on the putting greens. Next week, at the SAIL-SBI Open conditions will be totally different.”
"Also I finished the round at DLF positively with four consecutive birdies so I am optimistic. The Delhi Golf Club calls for a totally different game-plan and one has to very calculative and accurate off the tee-box. I am looking forward to the challenge and aim to sharpen up my short game in the meantime," said Bhullar.
Indian pros can draw some confidence from their familiarity with the deceptively tricky and heavily forested DGC.
"It was very windy out there and it was erratic. I think that affected all of us who are not very long hitters. At the DGC it`s usually not so windy, but one has to be very precise," said Chowrasia.
Anirban Lahiri, who despite his best finish in a tri-sanctioned event ended up in 23rd place on the leaderboard at DLF, is keen to return to the scene of his maiden Asian Tour triumph in the 2011 Panasonic Open.
"I was very disappointed with my putting. Considering I was in the top. 10, I should have finished much higher up. This, however, however my best finish in a tri-sanctioned event.”
"Looking forward, SAIL-SBI Open will be an important outing for me. I have won my first Asian Tour title at the DGC, so I feel I can do it all over again," he said.
The best Indian finisher at the Avantha Masters, Shamim, who lost the momentum from third round onwards, is also looking to bolster his chances in the Asian Tour event that is being played on his home course.
"Chipping and putting was poor. I was not able to take advantage of my good position after the first two days which was very disappointing. But SAIL-SBI Open is a different ball game and it`s being played on my home course. So I every reason for a better finish and improve my chances on the Asian Tour Order of Merit," said Shamim.