Ball boy to champion, golfer Shankar Das

Kolkata, Dec 28 (IANS) A rags-to-riches story unfolded at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club Sunday when local boy Shankar Das hit the winning shot which he later described as the ‘best win’ of his life.

Having come to the course years back to work as a ball boy, Das not only clinched the McLeod Russel Tour Championship title, but also pocketed a prize purse of over Rs.23.77 lakh, besides leading the Rolex ranking for the first time.
“This is my life’s best win, I want to thank everyone who have supported me, would dedicate the win to my mother, who is still recovering from an operation,” Shankar told media persons on the sideline of the RCGC, to which he was once introduced by elder brother Manik – a caddie.
Overnight leader Shankar started the day with a birdie, a long putt from about 20 feet which he later credited for bringing him good luck. The 31-year-old then piled on the pressure on his opponents with multiple birdies on the fourth and the 13th hole.
He described the birdie at the 13th to be the toughest as he had to hit the ball from the corner.
“It was a tough birdie, I had to hit the ball from the corner,” he explained.
Shankar also misfired two bogeys at the 11th and 14th holes but was confident of maintaining the lead because of the local crowd that egged him on.
“I had the support of the crowd, that got me going. I was not even looking at the leaderboard, I just wanted to hit good shots,” Shankar said.
“My children kept telling me I could win, I will have a sound sleep tonight.”
He had won the Indian Oil tournament last year and the prize money he received Sunday was the biggest given in any domestic league.
Shankar said his next focus would be to do well in the upcoming Asian tour.