Rio Olympics 2016: Know your Indian Olympian - 10 things to know about SSP Chawrasia
Let's take a look at 10 facts about one of the most successful golfers from India, SSP Chawrasia, who is going to represent India in Rio.
Shiv Chawrasia is going to represent India at the 2016 Rio Olympics in golf. He will be taking part in the event along with Anirban Lahiri, and he hopes to have a great show at the Games which would help him win a medal for his country. Let us now take a look at 10 facts about the golfer:
#1 Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia was born on 15 May, 1978 in Kolkata, India. His father used to work at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club in Kolkata as a greenskeeper. Chawrasia got interested in golf over here and took up the sport as a 10-year-old.
“I played really well in a couple of tournaments and in the last tournament, held in Delhi, I came 23rd and took home a cheque for R30,000. My parents had never seen so much money. This was the first time I realized I could have a career playing golf.”
#2 Known for his short game, he has been given the nickname ‘Chip-putt-sia’. The golfer turned professional in 1997 at the age of 19. He has won eight titles on the Indian Tour and finished as the runner-up in two Indian Opens.
“I couldn’t even afford a golf kit. I got my first kit in 1997 when a kind gentleman called Neil Law gifted me his golf set. For a few years I played tournaments with this kit”
#3 He changed his surname to Chawrasia from Chowrasia after a request to the Asian Tour in 2014, as mentioned on his passport.
#4 He is one of the most successful and richest golfers from India, and has career earnings of ove $20 million dollars.
#5 He emerged victorious in the inaugural edition of Indian Masters in 2008 at the Delhi Golf Club, which was a part of the 2008 European Tour. In 2011, he won his second European tour event, when he won the 1011 Avantha Masters in New Delhi.
#6 He used to work as a caddie before venturing into the professional golf. He made the announcement of his arrival into the world of golf by giving a tough competition to Arjun Atwal in the 1999 Indian Open at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club where he had learnt the nuances of the game as a kid, but eventually finished as the runner-up in the event.
#7 He currently ranks 207 in the world and has participated in many prestigious events like 100th Open de France, BMW PGA Championship, Volvo China Open and many other tournaments where he has had decent performances as a golfer.
#8 Recently, he had won the 2016 Hero Indian Open. He was given stiff competition by talented players like compatriot Anirban Lahiri, who finished as the runner-up at the event, Jeunghun Wang of Korea and Adilson da Silva of Brazil. He overcame all challenges to emerge victorious in the event and he was the runner-up in the previous edition of Hero Indian Open in 2015.
#9 He considers his performance in the 2008 Indian Masters to be his best. He won the event with a score of nine under par, which helped him win a prize money of 239,705 Euros, that doubled his earnings in the past one decade. He had performed so well in the tournament that he turned out to be the only player to achieve sub-par rounds on all four days of the event.
“I never thought that I could win this tournament, but I don't know what I'm going to do in the future. I am sure I will play more both in Asia and Europe, but my ultimate target is to get onto the US Tour. It is the biggest win of my life. I can't describe my emotions. Only when I get back to Kolkata will it sink in.”
#10 After winning the event, he became only the third Indian golfer to win on the European Tour, the previous two being Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal. His performance also helped him to improve his world ranking to 161 and he also topped the Asian Tour Order of Merit.