Whenever Ajeetesh Sandhu has to seek answers; they lie away from his place of work. The fifth spot at last month's CG Open, to cap a couple of top-10s earlier this season, shows that the need hasn't arisen in a while, but when faced with the scenario, the 24-year-old knows where to look. To doubt the self is normal in his trade, and ruminating on the greens often magnifies the issue manifold. The key is to look outwards.
Stepping out of the course not only cuts him off from golf, albeit temporarily, it helps break down the problem into manageable portions. Talking about the strategy seemed a little out of place at first as Ajeetesh left the DLF Golf & Country Club with a comfortable three-stroke cushion over Gaurav Pratap Singh, but drawing a parallel between Day II of the DLF Masters and the Players Championship in March gave an insight into the point he was trying to drive through.
The Round I leader at Noida, Ajeetesh slipped over the next two days only to rally on the final day, but the effort wasn't good enough to challenge Jyoti Randhawa and Mukesh Kumar.The third spot was disappointing, and though he did not specify, one suspects he did stay away from golf for a few days. It made him understand that "there isn't much to do, and the answers are pretty simple". The conclusion had its effect, and helped Ajeetesh relax on the course, so much so that the sole lead on Friday had him chirping, "Of course, there will be butterflies tomorrow but it is a welcome feeling and I'm not going to fight it."
Looking inwards has also made him trust his judgement. Of late, he's been reading the line (on the greens), and the ploy has worked. "It tends to get confusing (relying on the caddy)," he said.
Ajeetesh was at it again and the bogey-free round of six-under 66 showed that the newfound self-reliance is here to stay. Through the day, he gave himself ample birdie opportunities and missing quite a few of them had his playing partners remark, "The 66 is probably the worst that you could have shot."