Shah Alam (Malaysia):
With food being their common interest and golf their common language, Team Asia players are having no trouble communicating and bonding ahead of the EurAsia Cup this weekend, says the side’s Indian member SSP Chawrasia.
Chawrasia, who has completed exactly 10 years on the Asian Tour during which he has also been on the European Tour, is looking forward to his first appearance in an international team competition.
The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM will tee off at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from January 15.
He has been to Malaysia quite a few times before and is comfortable with the heat and humidity just as he is with his teammates, who come from six different countries and speak six different languages.
“There really is no problem about communication. Most speak a little English and golf is our common language,” he says with a smile. “And then there is Jeev (Milkha Singh), our captain, who takes care of everything.”
What about the food? “We all love food, it is our common interest,” he adds.
“I love sushi and Thai food and in fact I try all kinds. When I am at home I eat a lot of Indian food, so when I am travelling I like to try new dishes.”
“Jeev is taking us out for Japanese team dinner tonight. So the food and spending time together is giving us a chance to understand each other and we have practised last two days together.”
As for the practice sessions, there was some indication of the pairings, as Chawrasia played with Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Anirban Lahiri played with China’s Wu Ashun. It also showed that Jeev is not going to make his pairings based on nationalities.
Meeting the media alongside Chawrasia was 24-year-old Korean Beyong Hyung An, China’s 20-year-old Wu Ashun and Shingo Katayama, one of Japan’s most successful golfers.
Chawrasia, whose fine 2015 helped him finish fourth in Asia and earn a spot into EurAsia Cup team, said, “This is my first time in this event. I’m very excited and I’m playing very good this year (and last year). So hopefully I will be doing well this week. That’s my goal.”
On whether the team format of the event puts him under any pressure, Chawrasia shot back, “Really, this is one week where I am not feeling any pressure at all. You play any other tournament, and there is no second chance. But here, I know that I can depend on my partner.”