Beijing, April 16: India’s latest golf sensation, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) member S.S.P Chowrasia is ready to take another shot at glory as he prepares to tee it up at this week’s Volvo China Open.The talented Indian has scalped some of the biggest names in golf this season and there is no better stage to showcase his talents once again than this week’s US$2.2 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and China Golf Association.
Despite picking up a minor sprained neck during one of his gym sessions, Chowrasia believes that it will not deter his chances of making another impression on the big stage again.“I was working out in the gym and I think I accidentally went overboard with the weights,” explained Chowrasia. “I was initially afraid that it might affect my driving swings but it was not as bad as I thought.”
“There’s still a little discomfort but I’m sure it’ll be okay when the tournament gets underway on Thursday,” added Chowrasia, who grew up learning the basics of the game at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. Chowrasia’s rise to the top began with his stunning victory at the inaugural Emaar-MGF Indian Masters in February against a stellar line-up which included current world number three Ernie Els.
It was a historical feat that captured the imagination of Indians worldwide as his win told the story of hardship, dedication and eventual triumph. While it was nice to bask in the limelight after that win, Chowrasia believes that it is also time to look ahead and target more victories on tour.
“I’ve been practising a lot and working hard on my driving. I’ll be playing my first practice round today and hopefully after that, I’ll be able to read the greens better and plan my strategy for the week,” said Chowrasia prior to playing his first practice round at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old grew up idolizing the likes of Indian veteran Basad Ali who like Chowrasia, also hails from the city of Kolkata. However, his family was too poor to provide him with any formal training in golf and he had to sneak into the grounds of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club where his father used to work as a greenkeeper, just to play several rounds of golf.
Chowrasia has come a long way since those early days and he knows that if he is able to pull off another spectacular victory again this week, he might well be on his way to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“I’m feeling good about my form and I believe I’m ready this week,” said Chowrasia.This year’s Volvo China Open is into its 14th edition and will be played at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club. It will also see a 10 per cent hike in prize money to US$2.2 million. Besides Chowrasia, the other Indians competing at the Volvo China Open include Gaurav Ghei, Shiv Kapur, Rahil Gangjee, Amandeep Johl, Digvijay Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar.