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My task is cut out, says SSP

Calcutta: With the last couple of months not going very well, SSP Chowrasia has his eyes focused on the McLeod Russel Tour Championship Golf, the main round of which gets underway from Thursday, here, at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).

Chowrasia had finished tied 65th and tied 83rd, respectively, at the Hong Kong Open and the Portugal Masters. That’s not really the standard he has set for himself.

But the fact that the Tour Championship features illustrious names like Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Jyoti Randhawa, the competition will help in bringing the best out of him, Chowrasia believes.

“It’s a very strong field in this competition… You have golfers like Anirban, Bhullar and Jyoti, all of whom are very tough competitors. Then there’s Rahil Gangjee along with (Tata Open champion) M. Dharma… The task, therefore, is cut out,” Chowrasia told The Telegraph, after his Pro-Am round, at the RCGC, on Tuesday.

“I feel their presence will help me improve and lift my game further. I’ll have to be on my toes to race past all of them and emerge on top,” Chowrasia added.

Being the defending champion, Chowrasia sounded optimistic of his chances of retaining the title. He also agrees that he enjoys home advantage at the RCGC.

“Look, I always make sure I maintain a positive mindset, irrespective of the result. As far as this tournament is concerned, I’m confident of my chances,” he said.

“Home advantage doesn’t prove to be an important factor once a competition gets underway. But yes, the RCGC is my home course and to a certain extent, I might just enjoy an advantage over my rivals,” he added.

Chowrasia is eagerly awaiting the opening round of the meet as he thinks that it will help him understand his position better. “I practised here last week and feel I’m making a steady progress. As of now, I’m just waiting for the first round. I think that could make the picture clearer,” the 35-year-old pointed out.

Chowrasia is striving to take his game to the next level. “I think I can perform much better than I’ve done so far. I still need some improvement when it comes to my short game.

“My putting and driving need to be better as well. Overall, I feel I need to work out a lot more on all areas.”

He also hopes that success in this four-day meet will certainly brighten his prospects for the season-ending King’s Cup, which would be held next month in Hua Hin, Thailand.