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Leader Shamim Khan backs experience to seal victory in Delhi-NCR Open golf

Seasoned golfer Shamim Khan takes a one-shot lead into the final day of the Delhi-NCR Open golf, having braved fever all week to play in the Professional Golf Tour of India event.

other sports Updated: Apr 19, 2018 18:40 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times, Noida
Shamim Khan,Delhi-NCR Open,golf
Shamim Khan takes a one-shot lead into the final day of the Delhi-NCR Open golf, having braved fever all week to play in the Professional Golf Tour of India event. (HT Photo)

Shamim Khan is into his 23rd season as a professional, but retains a child-like eagerness to tee up at 39. Two order-of- merit wins and 13 titles on the Professional Golf Tour of India are statistics to be proud of, not laurels to rest on.

One more could come his way on Friday as he took a one-shot lead on the penultimate day of the Delhi-NCR Open.

Again, the three-day total of 10-under 206 looked good up the leaderboard, but that he could make it to the Noida Golf Course mattered more to the player.

Down with fever and severe ache since the start of the week, the advice from family and friends was to let go. Shamim didn’t relent, ignoring the counsel and protests by the body. “This is a home event, how could I miss out. Medication helps and once on the course the body warms up, making it better,” he said.

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The routine remains the same, which is to work his way up the leaderboard; it’s the minor “deviations”, as Shamim likes to term it, that sustain interest for one who takes pride in his experience.

This week has been about spirit scoring over the body, on other occasions it’s tweaking and changing of clubs to ward off complacency.

For long, Shamim has been clear that he’s not one to venture beyond the shores and stretch himself. The earnings are to secure the family and future, but to sustain interest, work is required nonetheless.

Coming on the back of winning the order of merit, little or nothing needed to be fixed golf-wise, but the “feel player” that he is, Shamim wasn’t happy with his putting.

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Not one to carry two putters in the bag, he departed from tradition for last week’s Pune Open, and was happy with the top-10 finish.

The putter’s working fine, and so was his iron play on Thursday. On finishing it off, that’s a worry Shamim has left to his younger challengers. “That’s experience for you. Once in contention, you know how to control the game and emotions, unlike a youngster who could throw it away due to nerves.”

Leaderboard

206: Shamim Khan (69, 72, 65)

207: Honey Baisoya (70, 69, 68); Om Prakash Chouhan (68, 69, 70); Shankar Das (68, 70, 69)

208: Ramesh Kumar (69, 71, 68)

210: Veer Ahlawat (68, 74, 68); M Dharma (70, 70, 70)

First Published: Apr 19, 2018 18:40 IST