Golfer Rashid aims to overcome mental, technical hurdles

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Bangkok, June 6 (IANS) Indian golfer Rashid Khan will hope to overcome few mental and technical issues as he bids to end a four-year title drought when he competes at the $300,000 Thailand Open which starts on Thursday.

The lanky Indian enjoyed an amazing season in 2014 when he won two titles on the Asian Tour in India and Thailand. He has been through some lean years since but hopes to turn the corner at the Thai Country Club, a venue where he last played 10 years ago.

“The last few years have been frustrating. When I’m playing good golf, I get food poisoning, fall sick or get into a bike accident. It is heart-breaking because you practise so hard and bad things like this tend to put a lot of negative thoughts in your mind,” he said in an Asian Tour release.

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“I’ve been struggling with my driver for a very long time. The driver technology has changed so much. Now you have to fix the bolts here and move the nuts there so it is very confusing. I have tried so many different things to improve on my driving,” he added.

“I have tried so many things that I’ve forgotten what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m planning to find a new coach to help me fix this problem soon. I hope my driver works tomorrow but if it doesn’t, I will use my three wood.”

The 27-year-old Khan will look to high-flying countryman Shubhankar Sharma, who just qualified for next week’s U.S. Open, for inspiration when he goes up against the elite field led by title holder Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand.

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“Shubhankar (Sharma) and I used to play on the PGTI and on the Asian Tour. Now he is playing on the PGA Tour. It gives me a lot more motivation and because of his success, I’m practicing more.

“I used to chill at home but now I’m training more and spending 10 hours at the golf course. Everybody struggles in their game including Tiger Woods. I have to stay positive if I want to play my best golf again,” he said.

Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert will also feature in his National Open after winning a record sixth Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in Thailand a fortnight ago. Prior to the ADT win, the 29-year-old Pavit rested for four weeks to recover from a wrist injury.

–IANS

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