Manu Gandas Returns to Form, Eyes Strong Indian Open Performance

Manu Gandas Returns to Form, Eyes Strong Indian Open Performance

Manu Gandas, the 27-year-old golfer from Gurugram, faced a challenging first season on the DP World Tour (European Tour) in 2023. Despite qualifying by topping the PGTI Order of Merit, he made only five cuts in 25 appearances.

“The results didn’t go my way, but I’ve gained invaluable experience,” said Gandas, whose best finish was a tied-20th at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational in Northern Ireland. “I now understand the demands of competing with world-class golfers in challenging conditions.”

Gandas has shown signs of improvement in the 2024 PGTI season, winning the Players Championship in Kolkata and finishing 13th at the Vooty Masters. He is now eyeing a strong performance at the Hero Indian Open, a DP World Tour event on his home course.

This year’s Indian Open will feature a record prize purse of $2.25 million and will be the second of five events comprising the Asian Swing. The tournament will attract 144 players, including 2015 champion Anirban Lahiri, Indian veteran Shiv Kapur, and three-time DP World Tour winner Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium.

“I’ll try to apply my learnings,” said Gandas, who finished tied-32nd last year. “The DLF course can be intimidating, especially in windy conditions.”

Reflecting on his European experience, Gandas highlighted the colder, windier, and wetter conditions, which affect warm-up time and distances. He also noted the longer courses, which test the long game.

Gandas has been troubled by recurring niggles in his right wrist and left ankle. “I’ve been playing with pain for the past 2-3 years,” he said. “This season, I’m prioritizing rest and physical strengthening to improve my yardage.”

Despite the challenges, Gandas remains determined. “There were times of self-doubt, but as an athlete, you must persevere,” he said. “I had support from Shubhankar, but homesickness can be a factor. Technical and mental inputs from tour regulars were helpful, but speaking to my coach Anitya Chand was invaluable.”

Meanwhile, Indian Golf Union (IGU) President Brijinder Singh announced plans to hire a National Development Manager (NDM) and National High Performance Manager (NHPM). “We’re interviewing candidates and expect to appoint an NDM by early April,” he said. “The NHPM will be an established player with a strong commitment to golf.”

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