Nadaraja Thangaraja is not an unfamiliar name in the course of Golf; though starting the game at 27 years of age, Nadaraja shot up in the field after winning the 2011 Sri Lanka Amateur Championship. Through the years, he has performed admirably in a plethora of national level and international level tournaments. Last week, Thangaraja came in Runner Up at the Chennai Open Golf Championship 2022.
Thangaraja said “Many seasoned and high ranked players were present at this tournament. Their standards were much higher in comparison. Around 126 players entered the tournament but after 2 rounds, there is a cut and they only choose 50 players for the next 2 rounds. The 1st day, PGTI rank no.4 Karandeep Kochhar was leading and the 2nd and 3rd days, I was leading. Unfortunately, PGTI rank no.3 Manu Gandas caught up to me on the last day but I managed to best the winner of the Players Championship 2022, the previous week of the circuit, Khalin Joshi, who then came in 3rd.
Thangaraja added “I started playing Golf when I was 27 years old. Prior to that I worked as a caddy at the Water’s Edge Golf Course at that time and I actually didn’t even like Golf those days. Then Mrs. Shyama Perera encouraged me and supported me to play Golf. After that, I picked up the sport quickly and joined the National team; there I won and performed well in various tournaments in India, Pakistan, Thailand and Singapore. Then in 2013, I entered Professional Golf. So far, I have won 5 professional level tournaments and came in 2nd around 4 times.”
Speaking about his future plans, he said, “My hope is to play in the European circuit in the near future but that itself is very costly. Actually after the price hike, it’s been getting tougher to afford to continue in the game. There are around 24 tournaments in a year and about 2 events are held consecutively. Then there’s a 1-2-week rest but we only get facilities to practice there around 1-day prior the next tournament and we need to get the facilities to pay to train more. So then we come back to Sri Lanka and practice in between as we can train here for free. Equipment are also quite expensive and I fund for them myself. So I am currently seeking a sponsor to support me to continue Golf.”