Warhorse Mani Ram ploughs on despite the odds

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Despite the odds, Mani Ram has been a picture of consistency this season on the PGTI, making cut in all seven starts.
Despite the odds, Mani Ram has been a picture of consistency this season on the PGTI, making cut in all seven starts.

The year 2010 was a watershed year for Mani Ram when he won thrice on the Feeder Tour of the Professional Golf Tour of India.

In a career that has spanned over a quarter of a century, the 39-year-old’s journey to the highest echelons of Indian golf has been about grinding it out despite heavy odds. The Madhuban Meadow in dusty Karnal in Haryana where he practices is not the ideal training ground but that has not deterred Mani Ram from keeping at the task he has chosen as a source of livelihood.

The perseverance has paid off somewhat with successive top-10s the past two seasons.

The Players Championship in Chandigarh opened on a positive note and Mani Ram at one point was two shots off the lead and was looking to herald his emergence from lockdown with some glad tidings.

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The finish at the Chandigarh Golf Club was not what he had hoped for as after the strong start he slipped towards the business end. However, it is a testimony of his grit and consistency that he has made cut in all seven starts since restart in November till the Tour got stalled again by the second wave of the pandemic in March.

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There were rewards in store too as Mani Ram finished T29 and T21 at the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational and Tata Steel Tour Championship respectively, the final two events of 2020, and picked some of his biggest prize cheques of Rs 1,51,500 and 1,81,750.

For a man from the hinterland where golf is far from taking root, the prize money is priceless and fodder to keep striving in his endeavour to get better.

Photo credit: PGTI