When we reached out to Khalin Joshi for a career milestone, he chose two. Of course, the 2014 Players Championship on the Professional Golf Tour of India was his maiden pro win; the 2018 Panasonic Open was mentioned in the same breath as it announced his arrival on the big stage at the Asian Tour. To the world, the celebrations on the 18th green of the Noida Golf Course and Delhi Golf Club were an affirmation of his talent, but not many know of the circumstances that played a part behind the exultations.
A year into his pro season, Khalin was disappointed at not fulfilling expectations. Determined to do well in 2014, he made changes to the set-up. That worked, and he was in a buoyant mood leading to the SAIL Open in February.
“I was shooting really low scores at practice in KGA,” he said. But a day before leaving for Delhi, Khalin slipped and suffered a fracture. The right wrist in a cast, it was frustrating to watch peers do well and go past. The months of inaction stoked the fire to an extent that on return Khalin played as if he was never away, posting two top-10s en route the win in October at Noida.
Four years down, the scenario was a lot different. For the first time, he had kept his card on the Asian Tour and the confidence reflected in the top-5 at the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur. Despite a brief lull, Khalin stayed positive leading to the Panasonic Open. That and a last-minute addition to the bag worked wonders. “During the pro-am I got a new TitleistTS2 driver and that was a game-changer.” In a first, Khalin bombed it off the tee on Holes 3, 9, 10, 14 and 18 of the narrow Lodhi Course to trigger a win that had been long awaited.
Photo credit: Khalin Joshi