Rahil Gangjee’s state is best summarized by British author Edward de Bono’s words, “Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.” For one who would be starting the New Year with an effort to regain lost ground at the international arena, the tag of clubhouse leader held little cheer.
A 76th spot on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit means the Kolkatan would have to polish his wares in the qualifying school before aspiring for a full card again. “I had a lot of expectations this year which did not come off. So, I am taking it easy,” said the wiry Kolkatan after Friday’s three-under 69 that took his overall score to nine-under 135.
Fog played a greater role on Day II of the BILT Open and the three hour forty minute delay meant the cream was unable to complete the round. Overnight leader Anirban Lahiri stood at 10-under after being three-under after 10 holes, while Jeev Milkha Singh, tied third on Thursday, too was three-under after nine holes to be eight-under overall.
Gangjee’s refusal to dwell on performance was obviously a part of the ploy to ward off pressure by not pushing himself too hard, a trait that appears to be inherent. In his initial years, Gangjee had opted for the fast track and aspired to be a racehorse jockey till his father short-circuited the dream by pointing towards the hazards.
“Given the way this course is playing, three-under is a par score,” he said with a shrug of the shoulders. Though he made light of the delay, the start to the back nine, his front nine, was far from ideal. “After a good round, a player tends to drop but the wind was opposite today which meant the holes that were easy yesterday, played long,” explained Gangjee, overnight sole second. After a bogey on the 14th, he made the turn on a sound note by birdying the 18th. "I missed a lot of putts and I kept telling my caddy that they were due."
The concerns subsided as birdies on the 2nd, 5th and 7th ensured Gangjee remained in strong contention by finishing atop the pack of 60 players who finished proceedings at the Jaypee Greens.
Despite being non-committal on the strategy for the morrow, the desire to be back among Asia's elite reappeared. "I may be going back to the Q-School but am sure something good is in store."