india.openHome favourite Rashid Khan will draw on the ‘feel good’ factor at the Delhi Golf Club when he chases a third Asian Tour victory at the Panasonic Open India next month.

The 24-year-old rising star is looking forward to a return to his home course, the venue where he learnt to play the game and tasted his first Asian Tour victory last year.

Khan will be among a strong line-up of local stars who will feature in the Panasonic Open Open including Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai, former Asian Tour number one Jyoti Randhawa and Chiragh Kumar.

The Asian Tour event will be played from November 5 to 8.

“I know the Delhi course very well. Everyone knows that if you can find the fairway, you will have a chance to score. I know the course so well that even if I have a 20-footer for birdie, I know the line and I’m confident that I can hole it,” said Khan.

He finished tied third at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters a fortnight ago but admits he is running low on confidence as he has yet to taste victory this year.  Last season, Khan enjoyed two victories on the Asian Tour.

“My confidence is a little down at the moment because there are times when I play well but I just can’t score. That’s been the story of my game this year. I need to work more on my irons and gain some confidence.

“It is very important to gain confidence ahead of the Panasonic Open India. If I do well there, it will give me good momentum towards the end of the Asian Tour season,” said Khan.

He has a stellar track record at the Delhi Golf Club with one win and a runner-up finish. Last year’s tied 10th result at the Panasonic Open India was a significant one for him as he went on to win in Chiangmai for his second Asian Tour title.

“Last year I finished in 10th place at the Panasonic Open India despite struggling with my game. After the result, I went on to win in Chiangmai for my first victory outside of India,” Khan smiled.

“That’s why I’m really looking forward to playing at the Panasonic Open India. The Delhi course will be in great condition when the tournament starts. They are preparing the course now and the players will enjoy their time,” he said.

Khan is playing in his fourth season on the Asian Tour but life on the road has been bumpy. Playing at the Panasonic Open India will put a broad smile back on his face as he will play in front of his family and friends.

“It is different now when you are a professional golfer. You play to earn a living but don’t get me wrong, I love my work but sometimes it can be a little bit lonely because of the travelling and being away from family and friends.

“When I was a junior golfer, I enjoyed playing the game with my friends. It didn’t matter if it was nine, 18 or 36 holes of golf. I just had fun when I was young on the golf course. My record number of rounds is playing 54 holes in one day at Delhi!

“You enjoy it when you are with friends and that’s the advantage I had when I was young. Sometimes when I’m down, I think back on my junior days to give myself some sort of motivation,” he explained.

The Panasonic Open India was launched in 2011 and has propelled the careers for many leading players including home hero Anirban Lahiri, who won his first Asian Tour title in the inaugural edition.

- Advertisement -