Golf: New Sri Lankan star is chip, putt off the old block

Mithun Perera hoped his father, Sri Lankan golf legend Nandasena, would be proud of him after coming within a whisker of becoming his country's first Asian Tour winner this weekend.

And Perera, 26, felt a maiden victory was coming soon after he finished just one shot behind Thailand's Chawalit Plaphol in the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open on Sunday.

"All you need is one good week to turn your life around. I feel my time is coming soon. I try my best in every tournament and I think the win is not far away," he said, according to an Asian Tour press release.

Perera added: "I'm sure my father and my country are proud of me. This week, I flew the Sri Lankan flag high. There's no disappointment for me."

Perera's father Nandasena rose from a "ball picker", used to retrieve balls from water-logged areas, to the upper levels of Asian golf in the 1980s and 1990s before arthritis and diabetes cut short his career.

Now Perera junior, who finished 50th on last year's order of merit but lies second after the first event, is hoping his showing in Yangon will spur him to greater things, starting with next week's SBI-SAIL Open at Delhi Golf Club.

"I feel that I've grown a lot since last year. I have good and accurate tee shots. My putter is good as well. I do lack in distance off the tees but the win will come," he said.

"I have a chance to win on the shorter courses like the Delhi Golf Club. My accuracy is the highlight of my game. All I need now is a bit of luck."