Tour In­sider

Come­backs are al­ways riv­et­ing be­cause the re­vival of a forgotten man al­ways makes a com­pelling hu­man story.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Calvin Koh

Come­backs are al­ways riv­et­ing be­cause the re­vival of a forgotten man al­ways makes a com­pelling hu­man story. As Calvin Koh writes, we cheer them be­cause we can all iden­tify with the feel­ing of loss and sub­se­quently cel­e­brate the tri­umph of the hu­man spirit.

Rahil Gang­jee is a name that may not res­onate be­yond the golfing fra­ter­nity but af­ter his win at the Pana­sonic Open Golf Cham­pi­onship in Ja­pan, he will be some­one to re­mem­ber for ev­ery oc­ca­sion. 14 years. That was how long it took the af­fa­ble In­dian to clinch his sec­ond Asian Tour ti­tle again.

The In­dian said, ‘When you do not de­liver af­ter so many times, you start to doubt your­self.’ But through­out those bar­ren years, the In­dian at­ti­tude towards his craft was un­wa­ver­ing and he was def­i­nitely not ready to say his last good­bye to the sport.

Pres­sure does not care about form as Rahil Gang­jee will tell you his ‘heart rate was up’, and ‘his mind was go­ing all over the place,’ epe­cially when he got to the green with his ball in­side the green­side bunker.

“My third shot out of the bunker was not re­ally a tough shot. But un­der the pres­sure it could have been a very tough one.’

Af­ter get­ting up and down and splash­ing his ball to within 10 feet of the hole, ques­tions abound in those min­utes which seem like hours.

Can he hold his nerve with the star­ing cam­eras, a ti­tle on the line and a seem­ingly easy putt to win and erase years of heart­break?

At the end, the an­swer lied in Gang­jee’s sheer will power.

“Ev­ery­one will play their part in help­ing you out, the cad­die, the mother, the fa­ther, the wife, friends. But more than any­thing else, you have to want it. And that has kept me go­ing.

And when you fi­nally de­liver, it’s a very big thing,” he said.

Great­ness has a story and the gen­tle man from Cal­cutta with a com­pet­i­tive snarl couldn’t have scripted it bet­ter.

I had the hon­our of host­ing Gang­jee’s win­ner’s press con­fer­ence and his cap­ti­vat­ing quotes re­minded me of why I fell in love with sports.

At the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year, Aus­tralia’s Todd Sin­nott hit six balls into the wa­ter in his open­ing two rounds.

He barely made it through with just two strokes to spare from the cut but moved from 40th po­si­tion to tied fourth af­ter the third day and cruised to vic­tory thanks to six birdies in the fi­nal round.

I asked Sin­nott what sparked that come­back and just one word said it all.

‘Hunger’.

Calvin Koh (right) talks with Aus­tralia’s Todd Sin­nott on the course dur­ing the 2017 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open

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