Fifteen years ago though, Chowrasia would have laughed if someone told him he would be a rags-to-riches story one day. "I couldn't even afford a golf kit. I got my first kit in 1997 when a kind gentleman called Neil Law gifted me his golf set. For a few years I played tournaments with this kit," he says.
Meanwhile, the Kolkata lad did all sorts of things to make sure he could continue playing golf. He caddied for golfers in his local club and did odd jobs to save enough to fund his trip to a tournament in Chandigarh in 1998. "My parents were getting jittery by this time and told me that it was time I stopped fooling around with the golf club and focused on learning the art of maintaining the greens. Chandigarh would be my last chance," he recalls.
But fortune favours the brave. "I played really well in a couple of tournaments and in the last tournament, held in Delhi, I came 23rd and took home a cheque for R30,000. My parents had never seen so much money. This was the first time I realized I could have a career playing golf," Chowrasia says.
"R30,000 convinced you this was worth a career?" I ask. "It would convince you too, if you never saw a R1,000 note in your life before that," he shoots back with a smile. Chowrasia bought his own golf set with the money and set about making history.
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