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German twist to Chowrasia's change of mind

other Updated: Feb 15, 2012 00:57 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times
Robin Bose

Enduring the pain of forfeiting his playing rights in Europe, to regaining it soon after, courtesy the 2011 Avantha Masters, SSP Chowrasia thought he had sighted light.

If parting ways with his sponsor, soon after the epochal triumph on that rain-washed Sunday in mid-February, was a worry, it was negated by the belief that his game was in place.

Within no time, the optimism started to take a beating. A series of missed cuts on the European Tour, which added up to 16 by the end of the year, and the evenings were often spent alone in the hotel room, face cupped in the hands, pondering on what the future held in store.

Steeled by the years of hardship early on, it was the resolve to stay afloat that made him look for the odd positive in a heap of misery.

"An isolated good putt or drive gave hope. I kept telling myself that if I broke down, crashing out of the Tour was inevitable, which was unacceptable," he said, cooling off after practice at the DLF Golf & Country Club.

The yearend brought respite as he got a chance to sharpen his short game --- the biggest letdown. Working with the putter for four weeks, away from the glare of competitive golf, not only prepared him for the new season, the pledge to rough it out also got renewed.

A 24th finish at the Volvo Golf Champions signalled a positive start and with a spring in his steps, Chowrasia headed for the 'Desert Swing'.

Making the cut in Abu Dhabi reinforced the belief that "all aspects (of the game) seemed under control after a long time", but looking back, Chowrasia points to the realisation that has come to rest with him. A man of few words, the 33-year-old has a keen eye, and following Martin Kaymer's run was an awakening of sorts.

A multiple winner at the HSBC Golf Championship, the world No 4 German missed out this time, but followed it up with strong finishes at the Qatar Masters (T9) and Dubai Desert Classic (T13, he was two off the lead after the penultimate day).

"The way he picked himself up after Abu Dhabi was something to learn from," said Chowrasia.