Super Siddikur ready to soar at Panasonic Open India

Siddikur RahmanDelhi: Siddikur Rahman hopes to take advantage of his terrific track record at the Delhi Golf Club when he aims for a third Asian Tour win at the Panasonic Open India which starts on Thursday.

The popular Bangladeshi has won once at the venerable Delhi course and finished runner-up on three occasions in the last five years. He has also secured eight other top-10 results, making him one of the top favourites to contend for the Panasonic Open India title this week.

Despite his impeccable track record at the tree-lined Delhi course, Siddikur is slightly disappointed that he has not won more Asian Tour titles at the venue.

“I finished second so many times here and that could have been victories. I wish I won more at Delhi because this golf course suits my game. I have good confidence here and that’s the key to playing well here,” he said.

After taking a week’s break, Siddikur is fully recharged and ready to challenge for honours on his favourite hunting ground.

“I had a break last week and I didn’t practice much. I just prepared myself mentally for this week. I’m feeling very confident ahead of this week. I’m quite happy with my game. I played in the last five events and made four cuts. I think my game is back,” said Siddikur.

Siddikur will be among an elite cast at the Panasonic Open India who include two-time Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Marcus Both of Australia and Chikka S, who won on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) last week.

Both, a three-time Asian Tour winner, hopes to turn the corner after struggling to hit top form this year.

“My game hasn’t been good but I’ve rectified most of the issues which I’ve battling with. My game feels in great shape although the scores have not really shown. I just need to stay comfortable and shooting some low scores,” said Both.

“This is a difficult game. It is tough to get everything firing on all cylinders on the same time. Everything feels quite good so I need to turn the corner fairly quickly in regards to the scoring side of things,” he explained.

The 22-year-old Chikka believes he is better prepared ahead of the Panasonic Open India after receiving advice from current Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri on how to tackle the Delhi course.

He will need a good week to boost his standings on the Order of Merit where he currently sits in 71st position. He has to finish inside top-60 at the end of the season to retain his Asian Tour card for 2016.

“I learnt how to play this golf course and got some feedback from Anirban on how to handle this course. I’m always in touch with him. Every once a week I have chat with him to catch up on things and he keeps putting me on the right path.

“Yes, I need to put some money on the Order of Merit. I’m feeling the pressure but I always play my best when I’m under pressure,” said Chikka.

Digvijay Singh, the 2012 Panasonic Open India winner, will draw confidence from his winning memories three years ago as he hopes to bounce back from missing the halfway cuts in five appearances this year.

“I remember the win almost like it happened yesterday,” he smiled. I’ve had a bad patch in the last seven months. I’ve struggled on the Asian Tour. Hopefully it will be better starting from this week.”

“I’ve only realised in these last few years that this game is about the few inches between your ears. Sometimes you doubt yourself and that’s the time when you need to pick up the pieces and keep moving on. Doubts will only make it worst,” Singh explained.