The amiable Rahil Gangjee waited 14 years to win his second Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open Golf Championship and it came at a time when Indian golf is at its peak.
At the age of 39, Gangjee, who is well liked for his bubbly character and is fondly addressed as ‘Ra’, sank a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole to return to winning ways since his breakthrough win in China in 2004.
After his first Asian Tour victory, he watched his friends and other young Indians rise through the ranks but Gangjee remained resolute and finally reaped the rewards of his hard work in Japan.
“It has been 14 years. I’ve been in such situations a few times but obviously have not been able to convert my chances. It has been a very hard 14 years and the thing that surprises even myself is my will to keep going,” said Gangjee, who pocketed US$ 283,018 for the win plus US$ 50,000 as bonus for finishing second on the Panasonic Swing Series.
It is still early in the 2018 season but Gangjee is currently the oldest Asian Tour winner in a year which has been dominated by the young guns, most notably by his compatriot Shubhankar Sharma who is almost half his age.
Despite watching the younger Asian and Indian stars excel in the world of golf, Gangjee’s hunger for success never wavered, thanks largely to the strong support from family and friends.
Know Rahil Gangjee —
Born: October 2, 1978 (Kolkata)
Family: Maithreyi (wife)
Turned pro: 2000
Asian Tour – 2004 Volkswagen Masters China, 2018 Panasonic Open Championship
PGTI – 2008 Players Championship (RCGC), 2013 Players Championship (Chandigarh)
Web.com Tour (best finish) – T-11 (2011 Rex Hospital Open)
“Golf is an individual sport and you need friends to help you through the bad times. This win will sink in. When you do not deliver after so many times, you start to doubt yourself and when you finally deliver, it’s a very big thing.
“Everyone will play their part in helping you out, the caddie, the mother, the father, the wife, friends. But more than anything else, you have to want it. And that has kept me going. I have a lot of close friends who have been there for me and have always supported me. Having mates on Tour supporting you is a big thing as golf is a very competitive sport,” he added.