Don’t blame Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia if he came away from the Classic Golf Resort on Thursday thinking what famous golfer Arnold Palmer once said: “The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.”
After struggling with his putting the whole of Wednesday, Chowrasia descended on the practice area hoping to reverse his luck. That was not to be, and the attempts at preventing the putter from going left to right resulted in painful yelps. Gradually, the follow-through was got right and with tranquility came the feeling that the workout would pay off on the following day of the PGTI Tour Championship.
The script unfolded the way Chowrasia hoped it would on Thursday. He was one of the three, apart from Raju Ali Mollah and Chirag Kumar, to return the day’s best card.
Not only did the flawless 67 give a push of 12 spots, from 16th to T4, it left him chirping on how getting back his strength augured well for the future. “It was putting that got me the Indian Masters. Time and the experience of playing the European Tour, braving the cold and rain, have allowed other aspects of my game to come up. I hit the ball close even yesterday and had the putter got going, I would have been up there. Better late than never, ab to chalti ka naam gaadi hai (I’ve got going),” he said.
The scenario atop the leaderboard remained unchanged with Ashok Kumar and Shamim Khan re-engaging in the struggle for supremacy. If the overnight leader was to be believed, nothing worked for him, be it his driving or putting. The saving grace was the iron play, which helped Ashok land the ball close to the pins. Three-under for the day, Ashok took his score to 10-under 134 but breathing down his neck was Shamim, a stroke away. Teeing off from the 1st, Shamim was off like a hare, making birdies on the 1st, 3rd and 5th. A corresponding bogey by Ashok helped Shamim nose ahead, but consecutive bogeys on the 7th and 8th pushed him back.