Randhawa shoots sizzling 66, tied secondOctober 17th, 2008 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS
Villamoura (Portugal), Oct 17 (IANS) Jyoti Randhawa shot a flawless six-under 66 in the opening round of the Portugal Masters that boosted his chances of making the Volvo Masters in Spain in two weeks time.Randhawa compiled three birdies on either side of the turn and is now tied second, just one shot behind leader Stuart Manley (65) of Wales Thursday.
Shiv Kapur, who shot an even par 72 with one birdie and one bogey, was tied 49th. Randhawa had birdies on the front nine on the second, fourth and ninth holes. He picked up another shot at the par four tenth before a birdie at the 12th and another at the 14th completed his scoring in a bogey free round.
“I enjoyed playing in the sun. It reminds me of back home, nice and sunny. I like the heat and the sun on the course today.
“The greens and the golf course you can’t have it better. It`s beautiful, fantastic,” he said.
“You can really go for it in a few places, but you have to be a little careful because the water comes into play a lot of times and I think the way the rough is set up, if you miss on the wrong side, it will be tough to make par there. As long as you are hitting it well, it’s a good scoring golf course.”
Randhawa, currently 64th in the Order of Merit, needs to get into top-60 to play the Tour Championships. The event is all the more special as it will be the last time, the Tour championships will be played at Valderrama, before the ‘Race to Dubai’ takes over.
Manley produced a five-under par 31 on the back nine to take a one shot lead after the opening round of the Portugal Masters and then admitted it was his best round of the year.
The Welshman birdied his last two holes to sign for a seven under par 65 at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course.
Randhawa is tied along with Alvaro Quiros of Spain and England’s Mark Foster in a tie for second after all three produced six under par rounds of 66.
No fewer than seven players were a shot further back on five under par, with Sweden`s Martin Erlandsson. Andrew McLardy of South Africa, Dane Soren Kjeldsen, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, France`s Jean-François Lucquin and English duo Sam Walker and Ross Fisher all going well.
Manley, 174th on The Order of Merit, knows a win or a good performance could help secure his future on The European Tour.