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A little pain but defending champ SSP eyes gain

other Updated: Feb 15, 2012 23:04 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times
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Ever since he tinkered with the "set-up" of his back swing, SSP Chowrasia has been swearing by the benefits.

In fact, it was coach, Pritam Saikia, who noticed that the pupil wasn't bending the wrists completely while executing the drive in Doha (Qatar Masters) earlier this month.

The anomaly was corrected, and though it will be some time before he stops falling prey to routine, the change has had a profound effect.

"The feel while driving is much better and ball striking is easier now," he had said on Tuesday.

Playing the practice round at the DLF Golf & Country Club was a journey down memory lane as, traversing through the day's 15 holes, Chowrasia kept reliving last year's campaign at the Avantha Masters.

The left wrist had begun to feel tender, but it was not taken note of. Not even pain could stop the defending champion from connecting to the past.

Going through a shot on the 8th, the memories of holing a monstrous 40-foot birdie putt on the final day came flooding back. This and other instances kept reminding the 33-year-old of what he needed to do this week.

Coupled with this was the joy of ridding himself of a prolonged spell of solitude on the Tour. Wife, Simantini, by his side, it was an affectionate Chowrasia as he shared the tale of procuring a pair of designer shades.

"A brand manager wanted me to have it but I've no need, so I picked them up for her," he said.

The green speed captured in the mind, the week promised much and there was a spring in the steps as Chowrasia headed to the driving range on Wednesday. But hitting a couple of balls made it clear that the overnight rest hadn't smothered the pain.

"I could have carried on and played the pro-am but I decided against it," he said.

A visit to the physio and taking the rest of the day off helped, yet, there was reason to fret. But the man was far from hassled. The mind had rewound to last year's freak happening.

Chowrasia had experienced pain in the left wrist before tee-off but carried through the week only to see its disappearance coincide with the event's culmination.

"I'll pull through, shouldn't be a problem," he said cheerfully.

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