His appearance or game, Chiragh Kumar is an advocate of change. "It's nice to do things differently," he said with a rub of the dense facial growth. From the time of his last triumph almost a year ago, the well-chiselled face now dons a stubble.
The crowning glory is the moustache, which is given a firm twirl every now and then to give a militant appearance. "You can call me a pseudo Rajput," he laughed, reacting to queries on the changed façade.
The superficial experiment is not the only thing that has occupied Chiragh. He has had more pressing matters to attend to.
After a second spot at the 2011 Indian Open and the BILT Open win, it was as if he could hardly put forth a wrong step.He still believes he kept doing the right things but the ensuing drought threw up questions.
Taking turns on the Asian Tour and at home, Chiragh's quest continues as he looks to make the sweat and toil of the off-season pay him dividend on the greens.
Fitter than ever
The meatier look is deceptive, as Chiragh feels he is fitter than ever.
On the road for 10 weeks, he points to the rigorous workouts for helping him stay focused. Considerable work has also gone into the short game and swing, and the 28-year-old believes it is now a matter of turning the corner.
The thought of pulling it off at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), his home turf, brought a faint smile, but it wore off no sooner than it appeared.
Perhaps, thoughts from the past year crossed the mind. "It isn't always that things work out even when you do them right," he said haltingly. "You need that extra bit."
He did not elaborate but it could be construed as familiarity with the conditions. The greens rolling to his liking and the "fairways in great shape", Chiragh will be a force to reckon with this week, but he quickly shared a lesson picked up during the 12 months of staying away from the spotlight.
“I'm not putting pressure on myself because I won last year. Besides, one can never take DGC for granted despite past performances here.”