Domaine de Bel Ombre (Mauritius): Indian golfer Rahil Gangjee will be shooting for a ‘home’ victory for his mother at the $1.1 million AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open which begins on Thursday.
Gangjee is half-Mauritian as his mum Nazirah hails from the world famous holiday isle and the 36-year-old is dreaming of a win at the Heritage Golf Club to repay her dedication in nurturing his career.
"It'll be really exciting if I can win. It'll be a dream come true. Mauritius is partly my home because I'm half Mauritian," Gangjee said in a release on Tuesday.
"I had dinner on Monday with my aunt who lives here and she's like saying "you can do it, it's your home." There's a bit of pressure but it's going to be fun to have some family support here.
"I tried to get mum to come over but she'd just come back from the United States visiting my sister."
The one-time Asian Tour winner is amongst a 132-man field gathered for the tournament, which is the first tri-sanctioned event by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours.
Top stars gathered in Mauritius include South Africa’s George Coetee, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, Australia’s Scott Hend and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
When Gangjee started playing the game as a kid, his mother would diligently drive him to the golf course after school daily and then wait for hours for him to conclude his practice.
“My mum was a great influence. She’ll take me straight from school to the course. While I play, she’ll take a nap in the car at the parking lot which happened for years until I was old enough to go to the course on my own.
“She did a lot to make sure I had everything that I needed. She always encourages me in whatever I did while dad was a bit more apprehensive as he was the decision maker,” said Gangjee.
Gangjee’s lone Asian Tour victory was achieved over 10 years ago in China and coming off his joint best season last year where he placed 19th on the Order of Merit, the slightly built Indian hopes to contend for a second career title this week.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot,” said Gangjee, who lost in a play-off at the Panasonic Open India after leading for three rounds last November.
“It’s almost there but I think there’s still something missing. Every time I played well or go into the lead, something happens.
"In Delhi, it was pressure all the way from day one to day four. Everything was on me and I’m thinking about it.”