Beyond the protective confines of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), the road is dotted with pitfalls, but Mithun Perera is up for the test. Playing in his second Asian Tour event outside India (last year's Barclays Singapore Open was the first), the Sri Lankan is already feeling the pinch, but the smile has stayed on the baby face.
The satisfaction of finishing Thursday as the best-placed player from the sub-continent was unmistakable, but given his financial status, Perera cannot afford to focus solely on this week's action at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic.
Putting in requests and following up with Tour officials week-after-week can be a test of patience, but not for Perera.
“I hope to get another five-six starts, but not in the big ones," he said. If he can keep up the form, which has helped him to 23rd on the Order of Merit, the situation could ease out. After all, pumping his earnings on the PGTI to fund his overseas ventures, which offer no guaranteed returns, is a risky proposition. But mention this, and the chubby player chuckles. Treading into uncharted territory is a habit with him.
A dearth of opportunities in his land had started to stifle Perera's ambitions, when his father, Nandasena, a renowned player of his time, suggested he move to India.
The uncertainty was obvious but the 25-year-old has survived to narrate his tale of transition from an amateur to a professional of promise.
The list goes on, with Perera missing a flight from Sydney in December 2009, which made him wait an extra year before he could turn pro.
There was no ambiguity whatsoever about his work at the Orchid Country Club. Landing the ball close to the pin for "given birdies" regularly, Perera finished T7 with a three-under 67, six behind clubhouse leader Thaworn Wiratchant, who could have set a course record but for the preferred lies' ruling.
The repeated stoppages due to thunderstorms had started to rankle. Waiting for countryman, Anura Rohana, to tee off, Perera muttered, “The weather here is like a lady's mood, you never know when it's going to change.”