I took to golf because too much politics in cricket: Rashid

"I have been playing golf for 10 years. I started playing for fun and took it seriously only in 2005. I played cricket also but then it's a team sport and besides there is just too much politics in it. So, I chose golf," said the 19-year-old, who did reasonably well in his professional debut at last week's Indian Open.

Rashid, a two-time winner on the prestigious Faldo Asia Series, was numero uno in the Indian amateur circuit till he turned professional and recalling the experience, the shy teenager said he was nervous to start with.

"I was nervous when I took my first tee shot but it all calmed down after a while. Playing in such a big event (joint richest on the Asian Tour) was an overwhelming experience. So many world-class players were in fray, I enjoyed the experience," said Rashid who made the cut and even returned an under-par card on the final day of the Indian Open.

"I managed to make the cut, got my first cheque at my very first pro event is something that I would remember. I also managed an under-par card. Although the early starts did affect my performance because the weather was cold and it took time to get a feel of the club at close to 0800 hrs in the morning," added the golfer, who fetched USD 7,125 for his tied 42nd finish in the event.

Rashid would next be seen in action at the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) qualifiers starting at the end of this month. "I will also play at some Asian Tour events next year. There is no point restricting myself to the domestic circuit because at the end of the day, you have to play good golf whichever the course it might be," he said.

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