Driver’s on song and so is Abhijit Chadha

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Abhijit Chadha is at ease after struggling with a faulty driver, and the relief has started to reflect in his scores.
Abhijit Chadha is at ease after struggling with a faulty driver, and the relief has started to reflect in his scores.

It isn’t for nothing that Gurbaaz Mann is called a master club fitter. It’s a reputation he has built carefully over the years, and a lot of Indian pros now swear by his expertise. Not that Gurbaaz needs another certificate of excellence, but here is one, nonetheless.

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Friends on tour and off it, Abhijit Chadha is breathing a lot easy the past few days, and credit goes to the fellow Chandigarh pro.

The PGTI MP Cup at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) last week, where Abhijit recorded his best finish since the Professional Golf Tour of India restarted again last month, and the solid start to the Jaipur Open on Tuesday are all due to Gurbaaz’s uncanny ability to place a finger on a problem without being around.

 

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The ‘feel’ player that he is, Abhijit realized something was amiss with the driver since the Golconda Masters in Hyderabad last month, the first event after Lockdown 2. “The sound of hitting the sweet spot gives me feedback about the shot and the way to negotiate a hole,” said Abhijit. Also, it is about confidence that the long game is in a sound space.  One of the longer ball strikers on Tour, the driver is a key component of Abhijit’s game plan, and the struggle to find the sweet spot reflected in the result sheet.

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From Hyderabad to Srinagar, he made the weekend each time, but the struggle lay in making low numbers and climbing the leaderboard. It was after Day 2 at the Royal Springs Golf Course that Abhijit decided to call Gurbaaz. The suggestion was to run the fingers through the club head to zero in on a discrepancy, if any. Sure enough, a dent, almost invisible to the naked eye, was discovered. Abhijiit’s woes lay in the shift in centre of gravity.

The benefit of leaving the driver out showed on the final two days in Srinagar. The under-par rounds were not enough to rectify the damage earlier on, but Abhijit was on the way back to being at peace. A new club head was acquired before tee-off at DGC last week, and though it was used intermittently, the sense of calm was evident.

 

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But for the final day’s over-par round, which were for reasons not related to the driver, a top-10 was for the taking. Though disappointing, the tone for a recovery had been set. The driver potent as ever, Abhijit hopes the start at the Rambagh Golf Club — he lies two shots off the lead at 7-under 63, is a sign of better things to come. Who knows, a third win on Tour might be in store on Friday.

Photo credit: Abhijit Singh Chadha

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