HYDERABAD: Still recovering from a wrist injury that kept him away from the game for two months, Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar today said that it has been a tough phase of his career which tested his patience.
After tearing a ligament in his left wrist in September, Bhullar was in a cast for 21 days.
The Kapurthala lad was sidelined for nearly two months and even though he made a comeback at Indonesia Open, his game has never been the same.
"I was playing very well till September last year until the wrist injury happened. The injury had a major impact on my game and I wasn't at my best from there on," he said ahead of this week's Golconda Masters Golf Championship.
"It's been a tough phase of my career. It's been frustrating and my patience has been tested. I've almost recovered from the ligament tear injury now and there is not as much pain as I had earlier. Fortunately, I didn't need to alter my swing."
Five-time winner at the Asian Tour, Bhullar will be one of the high-profile golfers to play at the the inaugural event to be held at the newly-transformed Hyderabad Golf Club.
"The Hyderabad Golf Club is in great shape and the weather conditions are perfect so we can look forward to an exciting week of golf," he said.
"Putting will be the key this week as the greens are quite challenging. It's important where you place your ball especially on the greens. I love the layout of this course.
It's unique and unlike most other courses in the country."
While Bhullar was nursing his injury, compatriot Anirban Lahiri took a giant step in international golf, winning two European Tour titles in three weeks -- the Maybank Malaysia Open and Hero Indian Open this month.
Talking about Lahiri, Bhullar said: "Anirban Lahiri's recent successes are the best thing to happen to Indian golf.
We needed someone in the top-50 for the game to grow further in the country.
"I'm very happy for him since we've played a lot together since our junior days. I'm confident India will produce many more champions in the coming years."
Promising youngster S Chikkarangappa, who earned a maiden Asian Tour card last month after finishing inside the top-40 at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage, will also star in the 40 lakh PGTI event.
"The playing conditions here at the Hyderabad Golf Club are brilliant. It is a one-of-its-kind course because of its setting and surroundings. The HGA has done outstanding work in developing this course. It's been set up very well for the tournament," he said.
"Short game will be the key this week. It won't be easy negotiating those slopes on the greens. The more putts you convert, the better your score. The 10th is a very interesting hole since it has an island green. If there is headwind it can be a very tricky hole.
"I've played in Hyderabad as a junior so coming back here after six years as a professional feels good.
"Even though I have my Asian Tour card for this year, I'll be playing as many events on PGTI as possible since this tour has been a stepping stone for me and I really enjoy playing here," he added.