The overwhelming desire to have a slice of Himmat Rai wasn’t surprising. Fresh from his breakthrough win on the Asian Tour earlier this month, the 24-year-old, a man of few words, found it tough to cope as requests for sound bytes piled up. Yet, as he went through the drill, the chiselled face gave little away.
Barring the slight smile that came to play briefly, emotion was again non-existent as a gentleman on the dais heaped praise on how over the years he had witnessed Himmat toil, rain or shine, at the DLF Golf & Country Club.
Perhaps, the smile was an indication that the speaker had not got the complete picture. While labour is a crucial component in his success, sound planning has played an equally significant and crucial role in his preparations. The Handa Singapore Classic may have whetted Himmat’s appetite for competition, but the desire for “repetition” has been with him for long.
“Playing on the main tour often doesn’t present enough opportunities,” he said. “There are lean patches which though allow one to relax can be counter-productive too.”
The quest for more real-time action drew Himmat towards the Jamega Pro Tour in southern England. Though steep on the pocket --- 400 pounds per week ---, the weekend tour, a breeding ground for aspiring professionals in Europe, was an invaluable training ground through May to July.
Fresh from a week’s break after the Singapore sojourn, which was spent “getting into the routine” for the DLF Masters, one of the richest events on the Professional Golf Tour of India, this week will give Himmat an opportunity to test the age-old mantra that seeing is believing. Greater the frequency of positive results, firmer the belief in his abilities. However, the promising young golfer prefers to keep things simple. “I’m hopeful this week,” he said.