Malik sets course on fire
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Malik sets course on fire

It was on the penultimate day of the DDA Open, soon after turning pro in 2005, that Malik had carded his best, reports Robin Bose.

other Updated: May 14, 2009 01:40 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times

After four years on the professional circuit, Amardip Sinh Malik is no spring chicken. But watching him bounce on the sofa like a child and exclaim, "It was at the Qutab Golf Course that I had shot my best of eight-under 62. I've done it again," one was reminded of the saying: Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you never want to lose.

It was on the penultimate day of the DDA Open, soon after turning pro in 2005, that Malik had carded his best. Four years and two editions later, the input was a perfect match but the result showed a marked difference. While earlier, the Meerut golfer's endeavour on this par-70 course had paled in comparison to Mukesh Kumar's blitzkrieg, on Wednesday, the 24-year-old found himself atop the leaderboard.

Over the years, the course has metamorphosed, with the par-3s playing longer, increasing the degree of difficulty. If that wasn't all, early morning starters had to cope with the wind. A quick feel of the conditions made the 24-year-old realise that club selection was crucial. "I realised I couldn't use the driver at will," he said.

The form was good and that early bit of strategising combined with it to yield a healthy return. Teeing off from the back nine (his front nine), Malik sank birdies on the 13th, 15th and 16th. The momentum grew after the turn with five more birdies lining up.

Obviously, the blemish-free round left him pleased as a punch. "Despite playing well for the past few months, things had not been clicking. Today, everything came together and I hit the ball really close," said Malik, whose best finish on the PTGI is a sole second during last year's ONGC Masters at the Noida Golf Club.

Barring the lone bogey on the 7th, the Lucknow pro seemed happy with his hitting.

First Published: May 14, 2009 01:38 IST