New Delhi: Sujjan Singh of India hopes to translate his impressive form into a victory at the SAIL Open on home soil starting on Tuesday.
Singh, who earned his Asian Tour card in Qualifying School earlier this year, will feature in the US$300,000 showpiece with local star Jyoti Randhawa, a former Order of Merit champion and India’s rising star Gaganjeet Bhullar at the Delhi Golf Club.
Australia’s Marcus Both, Thai duo Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Pariya Junhasavasdikul will also be in the elite field in the tournament co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGTI.
After finishing tied fifth at the Avantha Masters in India last month, Singh, who is second on the Order of Merit, is now setting his sights on winning his first Asian Tour title.
“My goal is to keep my ranking, hopefully move up in it and win on the Asian Tour. I’ve won on the Indian Tour so winning on the Asian Tour is my next goal,” said Sujjan.
“I think of going for a win each week but I’m more confident this week because I’m playing on a course which I’m more familiar with,” he added.
Singh started taking the game of golf seriously at the age of 21 and prior to that represented his state’s football team and was the state squash champion. Despite his late start in the game, he believes he has what it takes to take his game to new heights.
“My placing in the Avantha Masters more or less helped me secure my Asian Tour card for next season and that has allowed me to play a little bit more freely and go for a win,” said the 30-year-old.
India’s Anirban Lahiri is also looking forward to getting his season going at the SAIL Open. He is highly regarded as one of India’s rising stars but said he still has much to learn.
“It is a matter of learning and gaining more experience. I’m still young and been a professional for a few years. Ultimately when you are on the golf course, you are doing your best playing each shot at a time. I think that’s what I would like to do best and keep doing in the future,” said Anirban, who finished in 56th place on the Order of Merit last season.
Australia’s Both, who played in his first Asian Tour tournament in India in 2003, was delighted to return to the SAIL Open where he finished in tied ninth placing last year.
Both has been plying his trade in Asia for the past 10 years and has saluted the tremendous growth of the game in India.
“The golf courses here are good and the sponsors are still supporting the game. That has obviously led to the PGTI and the development of golf in India. It is fantastic to have the first two Asian Tour tournaments in India. This shows how much the game has grown here,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner.
Pariya is hoping to make amends this week after missing the cut at the SAIL Open last season. He said his game has matured more since winning his maiden Asian Tour title last season and believes good course management will be the key to a good result this week.
“The golf course is India is different compared to other golf courses I play on. The Delhi Golf Club is a very classic golf course and you need to be very patient and accurate. You need to know where to place the ball and where not to go. It will be very challenging,” said Pariya, a licensed pilot.
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com