Suri benefits from cricket and tennis pedigree

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US-born Indian-Mexican golfer hails from unique sporting lineage

Suri benefits from cricket and tennis pedigree

Dubai,November 17 – Jagan Suri, the dad of Julian, who shot 68 in the opening round of his DP World Tour Championship debut on Thursday, believes his son can go all the way in golf thanks to his family’s sporting lineage.

Jagan is the great grandson of Buchi Babu Naidu, the father of South Indian cricket, while he himself is a former professional tennis player, who moved from India to the US aged 17 – where he became No. 1 on the collegiate tennis scene – giving his golf-playing sons Julian, 26, and Devin, 22, real pedigree.

It’s no surprise then that US-born Julian, who is half-Indian half-Mexican, has ripped up the course in his rookie year on the European Tour with one win, two top fives, and four top 10s in 15 appearances, where he currently sits 59th in the Race to Dubai heading into this weekend’s season-ending event. Devin has also just missed out on PGA qualifiers.

“I think I’ve passed down mostly mental strength to Julian and Devin and think that’s been my biggest contribution,” Jagan told  of how his experience in tennis had helped his sons.

“They probably know this stuff but it’s just nice to be able to reaffirm things because I’ve been in the trenches and understand things, although not at their level.

“I also think I’ve led by example, with discipline, work ethic and working out, while being a good father, all that has contributed, it didn’t just happen overnight.”

Explaining how he had chosen golf over cricket or tennis for his sons, Jagan said: “I read an article in Time Magazine about Earl and Tiger Woods, when Julian was about five, and was inspired.

“I thought let me put a club in his hand aged five and see what he’s got and there was something so natural about the way he hit his first ball.

“I was trying to do the same with him in tennis at the time but the game was changing and becoming a lot more physical. We used to have variety but now it’s one dimensional. That was creeping up in the 1990s. Two-handed back hands and staying on the baseline, and I wasn’t a big fan of that. Then I read that article and thought why not give it a shot.”

Jagan added that the other bonus with golf over tennis and cricket was the greater longevity of career.

“Now it’s in their hands, when I look at Julian’s game in terms of shot variety and mental capacity I see him being right on top. His piers like Brookes Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, are all guys he competed with at the same level in amateurs. And obviously people mature at different times. I’m optimistic but it’s up to him, I think he’s hungry and wants to be the best day in day out.

“Mentally he’s always been a competitor, a real alpha male, whereas Devin is not, he’s more a strategist with good mental strength, so I need to know what buttons to push for each.”

Of Julian’s chances this week, he said: “He can contend, he’s got the mindset and there’s no reason for him not to.”

Leaderboard

P Reed (USA) -7

S Hend (AUS) -6

J Rose (ENG) -6

A Bjork (SWE) -5

R Fox (AUS) -5

F Zanotti (PAR) -5

A Levy (FRA) -5

P Dunne (IRL) -5

M Fitzpatrick (ENG) -5

J Suri (USA) -4

A Sullivan (ENG) -4

D Horsey (ENG) -4

S Kjeldsen (DEN) -4

M Kaymer (GER) -4

N Colsaerts (BEL) -4

 

Courtesy : Gulf News

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