Come Wednesday, SSP Chowrasia will be seen in an "austere" avatar at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC). The prominent logo of his sponsor will be missing from the T-shirt when he reports at the starter's box to tee off for the Panasonic Open.
The three-year contract, which took shape after the fairytale triumph in the Indian Masters at this venue, ended on March 31 and Chowrasia, despite winning the $2.3 million joint-sanctioned Avantha Masters in February, is at a loss to figure out the lack of support.
“It's tough, but I'm trying not to let it affect my game. Efforts are on but if I can't find support soon, things will get difficult,” he said. Armed with fresh playing rights on the European Tour, which came with the result at the DLF Golf & Country Club, Chowrasia's trips to that continent are proving to be a drain.
“The cost incurred during a tournament week amounts to around £2000, which is steep. A missed cut not only pinches, the mind tends to dwell more on the financial aspect."
Though claims of the "game being in place" are emphatic, the tightening of purse strings is probably making an impact somewhere. After a 49th spot at the PGA Tour's WGC-Cadillac Championship in Florida, Chowrasia missed cut at the Sicilian Open (Sicily, Italy) and Open de Andalucia de Golf (Malaga, Spain).
The idea is to make the Asian Tour’s latest offering on home soil count and the 32-year-old will be banking on lessons imbibed during the barren run post-Indian Masters. "Good and bad times follow but the win at Avantha has given me the confidence to hang on,” he said.
Issues with the swing have been resolved but putting remains a concern and for that, drills (to ensure the posture and hands stay steady) are on.
The conditions on offer look inviting. “The course is playing soft and the greens are rolling,” said Chowrasia. If he’s able to walk off with a substantial portion of the $300,000 prize money, it would have served his purpose. “If the game's fine, sponsors will follow.”