Prepared for a challenging period

It could not have been a better combination — a stunning golf course, the Chambers Bay, almost on the very north western part of the United States and the tournament, the US Open, which is also called the People’s Open for the simple reason that it goes through such a qualifier system that sees almost 10,000 players vie for a place in the tournament. The final 156 play this week.

After having played the British Open twice and the PGA last year, the Augusta Masters in April made it three out of four and now I complete the full set. Yes, it is fulfilling, but having reached here I am now keen on making a mark. The cut at the Masters was a big boost and I am now looking forward to my first US Open. My first round will be alongside Ryan Moore and Erik Compton.

The golf course is quite unique. It is rather hilly and also very long. The undulating greens and small target areas make for a great challenge. Having said that the set-up is also somewhat like an Open championship in UK. Playing at a Links-style golf course is quite challenging and I have always loved that.

First impressions suggest that any score around par should be good this week. But the scoring will also depend on the set-up and the way the weather shows up during the week. The weather will play a big role though temperatures are likely to be nice.

It is a tough test of golf here and there is very small margin for error. But that’s what makes our sport to so exciting and challenging and I am looking forward to the week.

Personally, I have spent a lot of time in the US this year and as I keep telling myself and all who ask me about my experience that it has been a year of learning. The results have been a mixed bag but I feel that if I can play to my potential, I can finish much higher.

It's my first time in Washington State and the area is beautiful and very picturesque. Coming back to golf, after the first half of the year, or well about five months or so, it was refreshing to spend some time at home and also do a mid-year check with my coach, Vijay Divecha. I am happy to have him with me this week and he will keep an eye out on my game.

Apart from my coach on the range and practice greens, I will also have the company of my friend Shiv Kapur on the course. It is his second US Open in a row and he came through a qualifier with flying colours and he is raring to go.

As for the first round, I am glad that I have a late draw. I will be watching a lot of golf in the morning to get an idea of how the course is playing out. And then see how I manage the course myself.

Frankly, I am feeling good about my game. I am quite excited about this first US Open for me and it’s living up to the billing with so much buzz and excitement all around here.

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