Thursday March 21, 2013
Dad’s the way as Mithun plods on with battered clubs
MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN
MITHUN Perera’s face lights up when he talks about his father.
The 26-year-old short and stout Mithun, the first golfer from Sri Lanka to hold a full card on the Asian Tour, is determined to make his father, Nandasena, proud by keeping a family tradition in golf alive.
And Mithun also hopes to go one up on his father despite playing with a bag of old golf equipments.
His father finished tied second behind Fijian Vijay Singh in the 1992 Malaysian Open.
Nandasena, the 1990 Asian Games silver medallist behind Shigeki Maruyama of Japan, had also won the Malaysian Amateur Open and the Sabah Masters.
“A lot of people here know my father. Anywhere I go at least somebody will know my father and they will help me because of that,” said Mithun.
“He couldn’t get on the Asian Tour because he had arthritis. Before coming here he gave me some good advice,” he said.
And what was the best advice?
“Try to collect more birdies!” he laughed.
Mithun is a believer of the adage of old is gold as he is still using a collection of battered golf clubs.
With his trusted clubs he came close to becoming his country’s first winner on the Asian Tour at the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open last month. Mithun carded a final round 65 to finish a shot behind winner Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand.
“My driver is about two years old but my fairway woods and putter are close to 12 years old,” added Mithun, who has no intention of changing his clubs despite the offers from the manufacturers.
“I’m a feel player and I dont believe in changing equipment. I’ve got a natural swing. I’m hitting it 260 yards but I don’t try to hit it at 261.”
Mithun, who is one of the shortest hitters on the Asian Tour, is aiming big in the Malaysian Open and said the support from his father and fans at home was a big motivation.
“I think everybody has a chance to win. All you need is one good week. If you can go really low then you have a chance.”
“I want to win at least one Asian Tour event this year. I need a bit more luck and it will come very soon.”