Rashid focuses on the positives
Delhi Golfer Starts With A 68; Aadil, Aman Also Impress
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