For years, Digvijay Singh stood by the edge of the fairway applauding Jyoti Randhawa's many titles at the Delhi Golf Club. On Sunday, there was a reversal of roles.
Holing the winning putt, Digvijay raised his arms but paused briefly, the eyes scanning the area around the 18thgreen. Unsuccessful in his attempt to spot a family member, he reached out to the man who has shared his worries for some time now. The player was locked in a tight embrace with his caddy, Dharmendra, when Jyoti joined in. Gone was the intense look in the latter's brooding eyes, and in place was moistness.
Hugging each other, the brothers-in-law stood motionless for a while, reliving all the hours spent playing golf, skydiving, biking, and most recently, shooting.
If Dharmendra was the public face of Digvijay's breakthrough moment on the Asian Tour, coach, Pritam Saikia, and wife, Chitra, played their roles quietly from the sidelines. In the family way, Chitra was not present to witness her husband don the blue jacket and lift the $47,550 cheque, but her words rang in Digvijay's ears. “She'd asked me, ‘what's wrong with you on the last two days?’ I promised her I'd play the weekend as if they're the first two days,” said Digvijay, in between accepting Jeev Mikha Singh's congratulatory call.
My turn now
Losing his card on the Tour last year and a prolonged barren run at home meant expectations were zilch.
Digvijay got to work at the Panasonic Open with a Mohammad Rafi hit on the lips. Tied fourth overnight, Digvijay knew the focus was on the top dogs, Ashok Kumar and Gaganjeet Bhullar, yet while driving to work on Sunday, the mind was working on a speech. "I wanted to tell the likes of Anirban and Gaganjeet, 'you've won enough, this one's mine. Rather than you giving it to me, I'll take it'.”
So preoccupied was he that a cyclist almost came under the wheels. The first couple of holes were spent regaining composure, but thereafter the ascendancy commenced. It was a phenomenal start for Ashok, but a double bogey on the 13th began his freefall. As for Bhullar, it was his inability to hole the putts that cost him at the end.