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No greenhorns on the greens

india Updated: Feb 11, 2008 20:58 IST

Hindustan Times
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It’s been a great weekend for Indian sports. Team India defeated Australia in the Melbourne ODI, while India edged past Uzbekistan 3-2 in the Davis Cup tie in Delhi. But more than these triumphs, the sweetest victory perhaps was that of S.S.P. Chowrasia who lifted the Indian Masters cup at the Delhi Golf Club course. It is nothing short of amazing the way this caddie-turned-pro won the first-ever European Tour event staged in India. Chowrasia’s hard work helped him overcome a string of misfortunes — once he even lost a play-off, being disqualified for failing to sign the card despite leading the field — to become only the third Indian to win a European Tour event.

His achievement will inspire not just golfers but sportspeople from other disciplines as well. No doubt, golf is an expensive game, but there’s no denying either that it has come a long way in India, with a large number of Indian players competing on the international circuit.

The new interest generated by wins like Chowrasia’s can attract sponsors and this could change the way Indians look at golf. Unlike not too long ago, today more and more children seem to be learning the rudiments of swing mechanics at an early age. Those who preside over the sport should ensure the availability of the best equipment and raise the bar in standards of coaching so that many of them can swing their way through the junior divisions to amateur status, and then past the Asian, Japanese and European circuits to reach the PGA Tour.