I am getting used to the top level

I am getting used to the top level

By the time you read this I would have finished my first round at the US Open. And things would be clearer as to how the US Open campaign is going.

Having taken that mini break, including some days off golf, it was a big change after all that travel and playing events in both US and Europe. That break apart, it was important to spend time to review how things have gone and to make minor adjustments and along with my coach, Vijay Divecha I have done just that. He is also here in Chambers Bay and that should be a big a help.

One may ask what ‘adjustments’ and why? When we play in different conditions in different places a few ‘changes’ creep into the swing. For instance in cold conditions, we are sometimes playing with four layers of clothing and that itself means making adjustments in swing. In Asia it is hot, which means relatively fewer layers of clothing. So, when a coach looks at that, he is able to see and tell you. It is what I call ‘de-toxification’ of one’s swing. It needs to be done every few months.

Similarly body also responds and reacts differently in various conditions. For instances the Scandinavian players react differently than us in cold conditions. So all that needs to be taken into account and ‘adjustments’ apart, it adds to the experience one gains while playing around the world in varying conditions. So a week with Vijay Divecha was great in Bengaluru.

Mentally, I am getting used to playing at this level, the highest in Majors. Beginning with the first round, my next few weeks from this week to mid-August I will play some of biggest golf events of my life with three Majors and one WGC. So, I have a lot of expectations of me. Frankly, I feel I have underperformed so far and have just played around 30-40 per cent of what I am capable of.

I have been paired with Ryan Moore and Erik Compton for the first two days. Moore has been in Asia a few times, in fact he won the CIMB Classic last two years in the only Asian Tour event, which is co-sanctioned with PGA Tour. As for Compton, I played with him in the final round at Masters and he is a terrific guy. Compton, who was second at the US Open last year, is an awesome story. A Norwegian-American, Compton has had two heart transplants, the first when he was about 12 and the second in 2008.

Going back to the event, with Washington State being half a day behind India in terms of time, it does feel strange but something that I have gotten used to time zones. There was a time when friends and others would call up or send messages in what was the middle of the night, while they were up and awake in another part of the world, but now I know how to deal with it ! Yet it is gratifying and great to know that we have friends following us thousands of miles away and that motivates someone like me even more.

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