16 August 2017: The Indians are out to make an impression on the sands of Fiji. Rahil Gangjee heads a three man Indian contingent that also contains Shubhankar Sharma and S Chikkarangappa in the Fiji International, an Asian Tour event. After a few rounds of practice at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course, our golfers are confident of a successful run this week.
The boys will start off on Thursday, all on the tenth tee. Chikka will play alongside Troy Moses and Gareth Paddison with the announcer calling them out to action at 0500am IST.
Rahil will hear the gong break for him fifty minutes later, as he sets sails with Cory Crawford and Daniel Pierce. Shubhankar tees off the in the very next group, ten minutes after Gangjee. James Marchesani and Lincoln Tighe will keep him company through the first round.
“It’s a very straightforward golf course,” said an assured Rahil. “It’s right there in front of you, no secrets and no hidden traps. The main thing to note on this golf course is the wind.”
“You need to get the numbers right. You got to try and hit as many greens as possible because it’s going to be tough if you miss it,” added Gangjee, almost certain that wind will be the primary factor this week. “It’s hard to make up and own, especially in the wind.”
“I am pretty happy with the way I am playing right now. It was not that great in the first half of the season so I worked out on my short game a little bit. It’s getting better now. It’s my first time in Fiji and it’s been phenomenal. It reminds me of Mauritius and it’s amazing.”
Rahil recorded his first top ten of the season with a T8 finish in the Take Solutions Masters this month. The 38 year old is still hunting for his second Asian Tour victory, 13 years since his first came at the 2004 Volkswagen Masters in China.
23 year old Chikkarangappa has also been through a rough ride this season. The top ten finish in Bengaluru came as a relief for the young golfer, who will seek to keep the momentum going.
Shubhankar, still just 21, has enjoyed a run of success earlier this season. Three back to back top tens came in Myanmar, Bangladesh and in Malaysia. He will look to regain some form and post a good showing in Fiji this week.
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