Viraj Madappa eyes success at Delhi Golf Course
Nothing has changed for Viraj Madappa since his breakthrough on the Asian Tour in early August. “One week does not determine golf or life,” said the 20-year-old on his win at the Take Solutions Masters in Bengaluru. Going with it, the Panasonic Open at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) too is a part of the process to get better.
Viraj comes into this week on the heels of a top-five at the Yeangder TPC in Chinese Taipei, and even though intentions were announced with “I am going to be the man to beat”, there will be no change in the critical way he views his golf.
It was this stand that helped him make a choice. Viraj came back after just four months at the Texas A&M University last year realising a drop in “work ethics”. “We Indians lead a sheltered existence while in the US there are no filters,” said Viraj on realising the mistake of being surrounded by “not the right kind of people”.
Viraj is appreciative that his family let him take the decision to move back. “Just a month into college, my parents knew all wasn’t well, but they wanted me to realise,” said Viraj. Now, when not on tour, time is spent with coach Tarun Sardesai at his academy in Bangalore. The learning doesn’t stop even when he is home in Kolkata, as despite coming from a “family of achievers” a lot of talk is about staying grounded.
This helped Viraj “cope with expectations” after the win at the Karnataka Golf Association. “It was a great learning experience,” he said of that week and on three consecutive missed cuts immediately after. “I was unlucky to miss the cut in Korea (Shinhan Donghae Open) but it was an out and out bad week in Japan (Diamond Cup).”
Viraj is back at DGC with some fond memories from a key amateur win here a few years back. Strategy has been worked out and will be about sound iron play. “I will be fine if I can keep the ball on the fairway,” he said.
Panasonic Open factfile
Prize money: $400,000
Venue: Delhi Golf Club
Dates: October 25-28
Defending champion: Shiv Kapur
Key Indians: Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Khalin Joshi, Chiragh Kumar, Rashid Khan