Hero Indian Open will see its 55th edition unfold at DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurugram from March 19-22.
John Catlin, the four-time winner on the Asian Tour and co-trainee of nine-time Asian Tour winner Gaganjeet Bhullar, under Noah Montgomery will be making his second appearance at the Hero Indian Open after finishing tied-45th in the last edition.
Catlin, who has played only twice in India, in his five-years of playing on the Asian Tour, spent his 2019 season, mostly on the European Tour and has earned a partial card for 2020 too. John Catlin loves Indian food and here he talks about his dreams, his love for the Indian food, the Indian Open and his goals for the 2020 season.
GDI – If not a golfer, then what?
John Catlin – If not a golfer, I’d probably be a mentor or golf coach. Helping up and coming golfers has always made me happy and that would have been an obvious path for me.
GDI – What inspired you to become a professional golfer?
John Catlin – Watching Tiger Woods play, while growing up was definitely a big factor on me becoming a professional golfer. I always thought – “I want to play on the PGA TOUR; I want to win major championships”; that’s still a dream and I’m still working hard to get there.
GDI – What are your plans for 2020?
John Catlin – In 2020, I will be dividing my time playing on the Asian Tour and the European Tour and give my best wherever I play.
GDI – Your favourite tour venue (anyone from all tours).
John Catlin – My favourite tour venue is the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, Arizona. It has got everything, great golf fans, an atmosphere unlike any other, and I hope to get back there and play someday.
GDI – What strikes your mind first when you hear Hero Indian Open.
John Catlin – It’s a great feeling to play the national open of India. You know when you hear ‘India’; you are reminded about the grasp of Indians on golf and business alike. Hero Indian Open is an event where I definitely want to play well in for many years and I hope I can go and play my best and get my chance to win, coming down the back nine on Sunday.
GDI – What advice will you give to someone who’s playing DLF Golf & Country Club for the first time?
John Catlin – My advice would be to spend more time on the green, know where to place it and where to leave it; those are pretty tricky greens out there.
GDI – Have you tried much of Indian cuisine? Which one has just blown your mind away?
John Catlin – It’s pretty hard to choose one Indian cuisine that’s my favourite. I love all of it and usually, I just ask Gaganjeet (if he is with me) to order whatever he likes and I eat whatever they get on the table.
GDI – How fun is it to play in the same event with your co-trainee Gaganjeet Bhullar?
John Catlin – It’s always great to play with Gaganjeet, we have been good friends for a long time. I haven’t seen him much in last six months as he spends his majority of time playing on the European Tour and I, on the other hand, split my time between Asian and the European Tour. I am playing with him here in Malaysia, and then we are playing the Kenya Open and the Indian Open.
GDI – In your professional career, you’ve played on the PGA TOUR, Canadian Tour (McKenzie), Asian Development Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour. Which would you say has given you the most memories?
John Catlin – Asian Tour, without a doubt. This is a tour, where I’ve won four times now.
I’ve been not living with my parents for almost six years now since I shifted to Thailand. I’ve been learning to be on my own, make own decisions, face their consequences, it all has been a great learning experience, which has taught me a lot. I’ve played all over the world, played at the places which I never thought even existed, places which I never thought I would get to visit, meeting the best and all kinds of people across the globe, with different backgrounds, thought patterns, beliefs and everything. This all has been a great journey and experience.
GDI – Winning is everyone’s goal, but if not that, what finish will make you still satisfied?
John Catlin – I probably want to go out and play, play my own game, not really putting any particular finish in mind. I just want to go out and give my best and see how it goes.