Randhawa signals return of form with DLF Masters title win

September 21st, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Sep 21 (IANS) Jyoti Randhawa’s amazing winning streak on the PGTI Tour continued as he defended his DLF Masters title Sunday and primed himself for the Hero Honda Indian Open. Randhawa, who has not won since the 2007 Indian Open , shot a final round of one-under 71 and managed to keep at bay veteran Mukesh Kumar, who charged up the leaderboard with a five-under 67 but ended one stroke behind at the DLF Golf & Country Club.

Randhawa, who has been struggling for form, achieved his fourth win in four starts on the PGTI Tour.

Randhawa totaled eight under 280 for the tournament, while Mukesh was at seven under 281. Mukesh is the current leader on the PGTI Order of Merit.

Playing at his home course, Randhawa began with a double bogey on the second where he landed his tee shot in the left rough. He recovered by sinking a birdie on the third and another birdie on the ninth to turn at even par. He then made pars all the way till the 14th.

Mukesh caught up with Randhawa as both at seven under. But Jyoti again took the outright lead when he sank a birdie on the 15th. He slipped back into the joint lead with Mukesh for a brief period after dropping a bogey on the 17th and then sealed his win by making a 20 feet two-putt for birdie on the 18th.

Randhawa, elated after his long-awaited win said, “This win is of great significance for me because I have not been in the best of form recently. I think I was trying too hard to win in the early part of the tournament and that’s why I was not at the top of my game. But today I felt great in the morning while practicing and knew that a solid performance was round the corner.

“Mukesh gave me a tough fight and I did get a little nervy towards the end. But done I am glad that I came through. This win is a good return to form for me.”

Randhawa added: “I always feel highly motivated when I am playing in India because people expect a lot from me. At DLF the home course advantage also weighed in my favour.”

Mukesh Kumar (72, 72, 70, 67) ended a creditable second after shooting the day’s best round. The four time winner on the PGTI in the 2007-08 birdied the 15th to be the joint leader but at the end, he parred the last three holes even as Randhawa shot ahead with two birdies and a bogey on his last four holes.

Mukesh said: “Even though I lost out on the title, it feels great to be back on top in the PGTI Order of Merit.”

Ashok Kumar (72, 73, 70, 68) capped his week with a brilliant 68 to finish third at five under 283. Ashok sank two eagles and four birdies while he dropped strokes with two bogeys and a double bogey.

Gaganjeet Bhullar (67, 72, 72, 75) and Shamim Khan (72, 70, 69, 75) were both tied fourth at two under 286.

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