Siddikur Rahman is confident of defending Indian Open title
New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS)
Siddikur Rahman plans to bounce back from a run of poor results at his favourite hunting ground when he defends his title at the $1.5 million Indian Open which starts here Thursday. The Bangladeshi uncharacteristically missed the cut in his last two events, but hopes to rediscover his best form when he contends at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC), a venue where he has one win and eight other top-10s including two runner-up results.
Siddikur will face strong challenges from the home front led by an in-form Anirban Lahiri, Rashid Khan, who won twice in 2014, Jeev Milkha Singh, a two-time Asian Tour No.1, S.S.P. Chowrasia, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa at the event co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tour.
Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, who returns to India for the first time since 2008, Scott Hend of Australia, Prom Meesawat of Thailand, Angelo Que of the Philippines and Richard Lee of Canada, the 2013 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year, will also feature in the elite field.
"I feel at peace and happy here. I don't feel any pressure even though I'm defending my title this week. When you do bad or good, it is part of golf. I learn a lot from my mistakes and that has helped me improve," said Siddikur, a two-time Asian Tour winner.
"I feel great because I have good memories on this course. I played one of my best golf in my career at the 2013 Indian Open. This is my favourite course and I'm looking forward to this week."
The 30-year-old hopes to strike it hot with his irons which he reckons will be the key to success this week. With coach Shane Gillespie and wife Samaun Anjum Auroni by his side, Siddikur is determined to retain the title.
"My coach is with me and is motivating me. According to my stats, I'm not hitting enough greens in regulation. That's my strongest point in the past. My short game is there but I'm not finding enough greens to go low," Siddikur explained.
Home favourite Rashid, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014 where he won twice, aims to find for more consistency.
"I just need one good week and I'll be more confident after that. I did a lot of mistakes last year. I won two events but I wasn't consistent. I always had one bad round so I want to avoid that this year. I want to make less mistakes and be myself on the course," said Rashid.
"Now my game is at the next level where I can't afford to make mistakes. If you look at the last two events, the winners won by one shot so that's what I need to learn," added the 24-year-old.