Stay calm and play ‘Call of Duty’, that’s Angad Cheema

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Angad Cheema has lined up for a win on the PGTI after a while, and going into the final day of the J&K Open the thoughts are collected.
Angad Cheema has lined up for a win on the PGTI after a while, and going into the final day of the J&K Open the thoughts are collected.

The wait continues since the breakthrough win on the Professional Golf Tour of India’s  Main Tour in 2013.

Does that rankle? Of course, Angad Cheema is human. It’s cause for frustration, just like a bad round on the golf course, but not reason enough to lose composure.

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That’s the way the 31-year-old is conditioned on and off the golf course. Growing up in an Army household, staying calm when the chips are down is a trait that has been handed from father to son. In golf, it translates in a way that Angad has stayed unperturbed to queries, “What’s happened, why aren’t you playing well?”. The response is, “Getting worked up does not provide a solution and often leads to irrational decisions.”

Since he won in his rookie year in 2013, the career graph has resembled an ECG graph, but Angad knows what’s working and what’s not. “I have been playing well and working as hard, just that errors keep creeping in.” Case in point are the two events in Hyderabad and his home course Panchkula after Lockdown 2. Finishing 13th and 12th at the Golconda Masters and Players Championship respectively cannot be deemed good but bouncing back after early setbacks is the gain Angad points to for keeping a cool head. “By playing solid golf on the weekends, I proved to myself and the world that I can play well without doing anything special.”

 

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Going into the final day of the J&K Open, the script is set up for a win, but will take some doing. Tied second at 10-under 206, Angad is four shots off Honey Baisoya with rounds of 69, 71 and 66. But in no way will it be a restless night. A climb of 10 spots on the leaderboard on Friday isn’t new but moving up a rung and finishing atop will be a heady feeling.

 

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This is for the consumption of others, Angad’s focus isn’t here. It is on staying calm and thoughts collected. He has done it in the past, so why not on Saturday. If an example is needed, he has one. Throughout Lockdown 1 and 2 Angad stayed occupied with ‘Call of Duty’ on PlayStation. “I did not dwell too much into lockdown or when it would end. It was my way of staying positive and was better than standing in front of a wall and cursing the circumstances,” he said.

Photo credit: Angad Cheema

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