Past experiences will help me

Past experiences will help me

Past experiences will help me

This could be one of the busiest stretches in terms of high-profile tournaments this season, or any season. Two Majors within three weeks and an Olympic Games. It is going to be quite a challenge, but something I am looking forward to.

I am coming off a week’s break, so definitely recovered some energy after a few straight weeks of golf. But I must say, Greenbrier (last week’s event) was not on my calendar and it was going to take a week to rest. Unfortunately, the tournament also got cancelled because of floods. My thoughts are with the people there.

And now we are across the ocean for the Open – the only Major outside the United States. I have always had a soft spot for Open – of course I love all of them! – because it was my first some years back. And, also I like links golf and am getting used to it with experience.

For the first round, I get to play with Sergio Garcia, an experienced golfer with so much of success, and American Keegan Bradley, a Major winner. It should be exciting as we go out together for the first two days. The rest of the field, as usual is of the highest quality and all top players are in great form.

Personally, the Open will always have special place in my heart. Lytham seems a long time long time, but being the first Major, it is still fresh in memory as if it was yesterday. Preparations this year have not been as hectic as in the years past.
Having played some Links golf over the years helps because you know what the conditions will demand from you. Still, its very windy out here and accuracy will be the key.

My close team – wife Ipsa, manager Neeraj and my regular caddie Rajiv are all here. But my coach, Vijay Divecha went back to India after spending some time with me. He was there in US last week.

The main idea of links golf is avoiding trouble more than anything else. It’s a great challenge; you have to be very creative, flight it in a different way – high or low and so on. It’s different kind of golf from what we have grown up playing.

Experience helps, which is why I am more comfortable and know what to do when it is colder or sunnier. So one has an idea. Having said, the Troon is great. And every golf is different. It is very challenging as far as I could see over the holes I have played so far. There are a couple of blind holes; a few in front are narrow and winding and the 11th has a very intimidating tee shot. I am keeping mental pictures and trying to get an idea of where you need to leave the ball. You have trust yourself.

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