Shamim Khan desired the world for his children but financial constraints had put the plans on hold. His earnings from golf were enough to make ends meet but looking beyond was unthinkable.
Shamim’s calling lay elsewhere but such were the times that he could not help but look wistfully as the boundless energies of his young ones got restricted by the cramped by-lanes of Nizamuddin.Winds of change blew across Indian golf and the advent of big-money events, like this week’s BILT Open, helped shaped the dreams of Shamim and may like him. A piece of land was procured and developed in Devli, not far from his previous destination, and the 34-year-old can stand back and watch with pride as his daughter and son, nine and six respectively, get a free run of the place.
A load off him, Shamim could now focus on the self and think of playing on the Asian Tour, a thought that would have been absurd till a few years back. For a man, inhibited by the prospect of travelling abroad and accepting food (read vegetarian) from alien hands, heading to Thailand for the final stage of Q-School will be nothing short of breaking the shackles.
FOCUS ON PUTTING
Friday was no different for Shamim. He cannot remember the last time he played an even par round at the Delhi Golf Club, and no matter how hard he tried, Thursday’s card bore a stark look.
Starting five strokes behind Rashid Khan, the focus was on putting, and what a day it turned out to be. He had signalled his intention with a birdie on the second and picking up shots on the last four holes of the front nine meant Rashid was battling against his mind rather than his rival on the greens.
“Unless you sink a few long putts, the feel of a good round does not come,” said Shamim. A 30-footer on the 6th gave him that experience and much more, as Rashid’s bogey-double bogey sequence just after making the turn allowed Shamim to go past on the 11th.
The frenetic pace of picking up shots continued as Shamim made birdies thrice towards the end. If the danger of dropping a shot lurked, it was kept at bay, his task facilitated by the relatively easy placing of the flag.
Two flawless rounds of eight-under 64 in the space of three days is a first for Shamim, but that hasn’t changed his strategy for Saturday. Focus on the craft with the odd glance at the scores is what it’ll be.