Kolkata: Guess what slumped defending champion SSP Chowrasia to a poor 50th place on the leaderboard on the opening day of the PGTI Year-Ending Championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, a big sleeping snake!
On par after seventh hole, SSP`s drive on the trickiest eighth hole went into the red line area -- called `lateral water hazard` where the scary sight of a coiled snake sleeping in the bushes greeted the reigning champion.
For the two-time European Tour winner who knows the RCGC course inside out, it was not a scary sight though.
But having hit into the lateral water hazard, he missed the ball and he was penalised one stroke to finish the eighth hole with a double bogey.
As per the rule, SSP had two options, either to take a fresh tee, or take the shot from a position about two club lengths from the ball`s `point of entry`.
SSP chose for the latter only to complete the eighth hole with two-over, a mental setback that affected the 35-year-old`s progress.
"Aaj sab kuch hi bura hua hai. Jungle bhi ghoom liya, bahut kuchh dekhna pada mujhe (Nothing went in my favour today. I had to go into the jungle, see many things)," he said referring to the snake.
"It was not scary. It was not a first time that I saw a snake here. But it was difficult to come back from there on as I was under real pressure," Chowrasia lamented.
Chowrasia finished three over 75 on a day when Anirban Lahiri eying a first at the RCGC, led
the charts with six under 66.
But the defending champion said there`s a lot of action left in the McLeod Russel Tour Championship offering Rs 1.35 crore highest ever in a PGTI tournament in India.
"We still have three more days` action left. Anything can happen, the course will play hard. I still have a chance to comeback," Chowrasia added.