Ever since that breakthrough win on the global stage in 2008, SSP Chawrasia insists not much has changed for him. An exception would be wife Simantini’s shopping though, which has seen a surge.
With time, he’s learnt to check his credit bills with a wry smile and quip “that’s her domain”, but beyond that Chawrasia stays the person he was, richer in experience of course, before recognition came his way with the Indian Masters at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC).
Golf has presented the opportunity to travel the world and play different courses, and it was quirky that at home, and as defending champion of the Hero Indian Open, he would remark that there was no home advantage.
“I’ve played all over but have seen nothing like this,” he said about the DLF Golf & Country Club. The venue of the women’s national Open twice, the redesigned course is hosting a men’s professional event for the first time, and Chawrasia felt the novelty had left everyone on an “even keel”.
After finishing runner up four times and all the more determined to win the “fifth Major”, Chawrasia would have us believe that the feeling of going in with a title to defend isn’t very different. Save that he would be attempting it at a different setting.
“Compared to DGC, this is different, especially a couple of holes (the reference was to the 17th and 18th) but that’s the case for everyone.”
Be it the greens or fairways, the degree of difficulty is high, but will in no way affect the intensity to make it two in a row. After all, he has a powerful ally by his side.
It was here, albeit at the old course, that he found hope at the start of 2011. After that epochal week at DGC, reality dawned on Chawrasia as he adjusted to the demands of playing in Europe. He learnt but it came at a price.
At the close of 2010, he had to forego his rights in Europe, and it was at the Avantha Masters that he regained his card within a few weeks.
The slow start to the year is of no concern as he is coming off the “best season of his career”. Two wins and an appearance at the Olympics have left him appreciative that perseverance pays off. “In golf, you never know when you’ll turn the corner. One solid week, and its up and away.”