Muniyappa ready for title defence at Hero Honda Indian OpenNovember 26th, 2010 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) Local hero C. Muniyappa hopes to go back to his old ways as he prepares to defend his title at the $1.25 million Hero Honda Indian Open golf next week.
Muniyappa secured a dream victory a year ago when he defeated Korea’s Lee Sung in a play-off to win his home Open but since securing his Asian Tour breakthrough, he has not been able to reproduce his winning form.
The 33-year-old will face a star-studded field at the Delhi Golf Club from Dec 2-5, which includes former Asian number ones Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, who became the first Indian to triumph on the US PGA Tour this year.
Muniyappa admitted he has struggled this season after changing his swing in an effort to make improvements to his game following his memorable triumph.
“After winning, I tried to change my golf swing to make it better but it went bad. I think it was a wrong move as I’ve got a natural swing. I am slowly going back to my old ways and it feels a bit better now,” said Muniyappa, who ranks a lowly 130th on the Order of Merit this season.
“I wanted to get to the next level but I was too quick in doing so. I want to get back to my old game and not think too much about the technical aspects when I’m playing in tournaments.”
A former caddie who once earned one rupee a day on the golf course in his home town in Bangalore, Muniyappa transformed his life with four glorious days of golf to pick up a cheque of $198,125.
“Last year, I was hitting well,” recalled Muniyappa. “My mind was very calm that week but this season, I’ve been putting pressure on myself. People expect me to play better after my win and I was putting pressure on myself to perform and I have played badly.
“Everybody dreams of winning the Hero Honda Indian Open. It was my dream as well and I managed to do it last year. I hope to put up a good title defence although it will be a big challenge,” he added.
While he won last year at the DLF Golf and Country Club, Muniyappa enjoys competing at the venerable Delhi Golf Club. “It’s a really good course. You need to hit it straight and one bad shot would mean trouble. You have to be patient to play well there,” he said.
Other top names in the Hero Honda Indian Open include former champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and this season’s winners Peter Karmis of South Africa, Siddikur of Bangladesh and Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, who triumphed at the SAIL Open earlier this year at the Delhi Golf Club.
Irish star Paul McGinley and Sweden’s Daniel Chopra will also be in the elite field next week. Other leading players who will head to India include Korean American Anthony Kang, Australia’s Scott Hend and Marcus Both, all winners on the Asian Tour.
The Hero Honda Indian Open is the joint richest full field event on the Asian Tour.
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Tags: arjun atwal, asian tour, caddie, dlf, glorious days, golf swing, hero honda, jeev milkha singh, jyoti randhawa, local hero, memorable triumph, natural swing, next level, number ones, old game, open golf, order of merit, rupee, technical aspects, title defence