Rashid fo­cuses on the pos­i­tives

Delhi Golfer Starts With A 68; Aadil, Aman Also Im­press

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Moushumi.Bora @times­group.com

Me­wat (Haryana): “Launda mauj kar raha hai (the boy is hav­ing fun),” quipped Shamim Khan as he walked by a smil­ing Rashid Khan. The Delhi golfer has been in a spot of bother lately. Con­tro­versy has been rag­ing, he un­der­stands it’s im­por­tant to fo­cus on the game it­self, and take it to the next level. There were signs on Day 1 of the in­au­gu­ral $300,000 Clas­sic Golf & Coun­try Club In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­onship he was on the right track, and there were rea­sons to be pos­i­tive.

With a four-un­der bo­geyfree 68, he de­liv­ered a sig­nal of bet­ter things to come as he winded up tied-8th, four strokes be­hind the leader Rory Hie of In­done­sia (64) and a stroke be­hind Aadil Bedi and Aman Raj, who were in tied-5th place. Play­ing on the Asian Tour us­ing the coun­try spot after los­ing his full card last year, Rashid has learnt to deal with the pres­sures on tour and be­come more open to change.

“Lone­li­ness gets the bet­ter of you and you crave for home. There were no play­ers from my group when I was out on the road. I used to carry a lap­top but I wasn’t into watch­ing too many movies. I even had sev­eral bouts of food poi­son­ing. Now I know where to go, I eat the lo­cal food, my PlayS­ta­tion is a con­stant com­pan­ion and there are many golfers from my co­terie and we have fun.”

So what used to be a painful job has turned into a sat­is­fac­tory one for the golfer who has made Noida Golf Course his home now. Also, he points out that quan­tity counted when he had full play­ing rights. “See, you don’t care about it, you play as many tour­na­ments you wanted, didn’t mat­ter if the re­sults were good or bad. When your time is lim­ited and you have noth­ing, that’s when you start work­ing harder, you have a goal.”

Patna’s Aman Raj has had no teething prob­lems on the Asian Tour so far. Hav­ing come through Q-School, the 24-year-old, who is known for his trade­mark hats, has no prob­lem mak­ing new friends. Sport­ing a white one he bought in a Delhi mar­ket, Aman made two birdies on the back nine and then three on the front to bring in an un­blem­ished card of 67.

The night be­fore, he and his mates had taken five Amer­i­can golfers to the Cy­berHub for a Parsi treat and he is rev­el­ling in his new-found host status. “I have en­joyed some good starts but haven’t fin­ished those events well. I guess it’s part of the learn­ing curve for me.” Day 1 scores: 64 - Rory Hie (INA); 66 - Sat­taya Supupra­mai (THA), Su­ra­dit Yongcharoe­n­chai (THA), Kwan­chai Tan­nin (THA); 67 - Aadil Bedi (IND), Aman Raj (IND), An­dreas Gronkvist (SWE); 68 - Rashid Khan (IND), Ran­jit Singh (IND), Poosit Supupra­mai (THA), Daniel Fox (AUS), Neil Schi­etekat (RSA), Ak­bar Hos­sain (BAN), Ab­hi­jit Chadha (IND), Se­ung­jae Maeng (USA), Him­mat Rai (IND), Naru­toshi Ya­maoka (JPN).

EYE­ING A BREAK­THROUGH: Rashid lines up a putt on Thurs­day

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