Sponsor-less Shankar waiting to take flight
Even as Digvijay Singh celebrated his first international victory, first with his caddy and then with his brother-in-law, Jyoti Randhawa, his final day playing partner patiently waited his turn to sink what was a make-or-break birdie putt.other Updated: Apr 02, 2012 00:15 IST
Even as Digvijay Singh celebrated his first international victory, first with his caddy and then with his brother-in-law, Jyoti Randhawa, his final day playing partner patiently waited his turn to sink what was a make-or-break birdie putt. An up-and-down day meant that Shankar Das, who was third coming into the fourth round, was no longer in contention by the time he reached the 18th green during the second edition of the Panasonic Open (India) at the Delhi Golf Club here on Sunday.
But with that one birdie, the 29-year-old Das ensured a tied fifth finish, thereby booking a berth in his first ever tournament outside the sub-continent - next week's Asian Tour event, the Handa Singapore Classic. "I was told that I'd be given a slot if I finish in the top-five," says Das, in a huge rush to catch his flight back home to Calcutta; he hopes to take another flight on Monday evening, this one to Singapore.
This second trip, though, still isn't confirmed. Despite the opportunity, Das isn't sure whether he'll actually go to the Southeast Asian nation. "Even though my travel agent will take care of the flight tickets to and from Singapore, I'm yet to encash my recent prize money cheques, so I'm really not sure if I have the resources to stay, eat and compete in a foreign land at such short notice," says Das.
Financial woes have been a part and parcel of Das's life. "It's my family which has helped me through all the hardships and become a golfer. I started playing using my brothers' clubs," says Das. Sadly, despite having won three tournaments on the domestic tour, PGTI, over the past one-and-a-half years, he, like so many other support staff-turned-pros, is yet to attract corporate sponsorship. Ah well, some things never change.