Randhawa hopes for a turnaround at Panasonic Open golfApril 4th, 2011 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) Jyoti Randhawa, the most successful golfer on Indian soil with five Asian Tour titles at home, aims to provide more sporting glory for his country by winning the inaugural Panasonic Open (India) which tees off at the Delhi Golf Club Wednesday.
With euphoria at an all-time high after India swept aside Sri Lanka to win the cricket world cup and Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi becoming World No. 1 in tennis, another win by a home grown talent in golf is certain to evoke more excitement.
“India winning the cricket world cup is great. Golf has also come a long way in India and it’ll be nice if I can win this week too,” said Randhawa, who was the first Indian to win the prestigious Asian Tour Order of Merit title in 2002.
“Sport in the country has not been given much importance in the past but now it’s catching up. Any sporting event in India or rather any sporting guy in the country who wins a big event is now recognised.”
For the second time in three weeks, the region’s elite players will return to India for the tournament, which is the newest $300,000 event on the Asian Tour Schedule.
Randhawa is expected to spearhead the local challenge as he is regarded as one of Asia’s most decorated players with eight Asian Tour wins to his illustrious career.
Randhawa’s last victory on the Asian Tour came in 2009 at the Thailand Open and he hopes that the wait for another victory will end here, a venue which he has triumphed on many occasions before.
“I’ve a good record at the Delhi Golf Club and if I can build on my record here this week, it’ll be great,” said Randhawa.
While he is disappointed to have lost his European Tour card this season, Randhawa knows that he will be back at the top of his game soon.
“Golf’s a funny game. Sometimes you keep winning and sometimes it goes the other way. But I’m at it and I’m trying to get my act together and hopefully win something. I’m feeling better about my golf swing and I hope to capitalise on that.”
Meanwhile Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who last victory came in 2002 at the Taiwan Open, hopes to end his nine-year title drought.
“I haven’t been playing much tournaments lately and I’ve been making several swing changes. But I feel that it’s all coming together. Everything looks very positive for me now,” said Chia.
Emerging young talent Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand who earned his Asian Tour card through Qualifying School earlier in the year, is also eager to show that he can match up against the best despite being only 18 years old.
“This week’s a good opportunity to access how good I’m at my game as there are many good players competing. I hope to play well and make a good living on the Asian Tour,” said the young Thai.
The top three players of the Panasonic Open (India) will be invited to play the Asia-Pacific round, scheduled from September 22 to 25 at Biwako Country Club in Shiga Prefecture.
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