SSP and wife Simantini sit down for a chat after his McLeod Russel Tour Championship victory that bagged the caddie-turned-pro a cool cheque of more than Rs 19 lakh!
Before the tournament began, you told t2 how coming to Calcutta was like coming home on holiday. How did you manage to spin this victory?
I played for seven weeks before coming home and was very tired. So I took it easy as soon as I came to Calcutta, resting four-five days before the tournament began. That got me feeling nice and fresh and I think that’s what cracked it!
How do you balance work and family when you’re home?
Very easy! Simantini keeps travelling with me so spending time together is never a problem. And when I’m in Calcutta, I leave everyday around 7am from home and after I’m back, we usually stay at home only.
Simantini, how do you support SSP? Do you get up early to give him breakfast?!
Breakfast sab club mein hoti hai (laughs)! I am a late riser! Emotionally, I try my best to support him, pata nahin inko kitna help milta hai (laughs)!
[Milta hai, poora milta hai, putts in SSP!]
SSP, at what point in this tournament did you think you could win?
This week, I knew I had to fight so I was working on my putting and swing. After playing the Pro-Am and practising as well, I got the feeling that kuch hoyega, kuch hoyega. Once the game started, after the third round, I was four shots behind but I didn’t lose hope — I thought chalo, there’s one more day left. On Saturday, the final day, my front line scoring was average. I noticed that the leader was dropping so I started focusing and planned a little more. The 12th and 13th were birdies and that completely changed my game.
Did you get any sleep on Friday night?
[Simantini pipes in: ‘He can sleep any time! Sone ke mamle mein he’s very good!’ as SSP breaks into a laugh] The latest I can stay awake is 11pm!
Chonburi next week for the Thailand Open. Then to Johor in Malaysia and back home to relax before I start next year.
The crowded 18th hole at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club as the last of the leader groups tees off on Saturday, the final day of the tourney
McLeod Russel chief Aditya Khaitan (in red) chats with Brandon de Souza (in orange), as Gaurav Ghosh(extreme left) and club member Kavi Seth look on
Between cheering the golfers, spotted sunbathing at the 9th hole was visitor Adrian Fox, in town for the India vs England Test match
Big boys Rahil Gangjee and Jyoti Randhawa catch up over lunch on Friday at the Shamiana on the RCGC lawns
Pro golfer Digvijay Singh, brother of actress Chitrangda, takes nephew Zoravar on a walk
Pro-Am participant Neha Agarwal slipped on shades and a straw hat to beat the pre-winter sun as she cheered the pros on Saturday
RCGC member Lata Singh came on all four days and even walked the 18 holes with son Ranjit on Wednesday
“I’ve been playing golf for almost 50 years,” smiled Billy Mehra, 70, whose son Sanjeev aka Fatty was the champion individual golfer of The Telegraph Cup Golf 2012 in July
“I’m cheering for SSP uncle,” said little Prarthna as she followed the game from daddy Sidarth Rai’s shoulders
Rooting for S.S.P. Chowrasia were Pro-Am participants Juye Ham (left) and Soonae Kim from South Korea
Six-year-old Gurmehr Bindra (extreme right) swings an imaginary shot, Jeremy Dale-style, just after the trick-shot king’s show on Friday, as his friends (from far left) Sanaya, Naisha, Anoushka and Avyay cheer him on!
Thai, Bengali, Indian, Italian and Rajasthani — all five cuisines were served up during the tournament with these cute cupcakes for dessert. “We had around 150 people everyday and many more on Saturday,” smiled Vidisha Bathwal of catering label Paprika
SSP’s father, who used to be a green-keeper at RCGC, watched his son’s game from the greens he once tended. “I usually don’t have sweets but today calls for something special,”he smiled after SSP received the trophy
A night to remember