Jyoti Randhawa stole the thunder from world number one Tiger Woods with a flawless seven-under par 65 for a one-stroke lead on the opening day of the $ five million HSBC Champions golf here.
Randhawa fired a blistering seven birdies to lead by one stroke from Korea's Yang Yong-eun, 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and Scotsman Marc Warren at the Sheshan International Club course. Compatriot Jeev Milkha Singh, playing alongside Woods, enjoyed the satisfaction of outscoring his more famous playing partner with a 70.
Woods, who had numero uno of men's tennis and his new friend Roger Federer amongst the crowds, battled to a 72 which included four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey as his game failed to ignite. Thailand 's Chawalit Plaphol ensured a strong Asian presence on the star-studded leaderboard with a 67 that was matched by Europe's number one, Padraig Harrington of Ireland, in tied fifth place.
Randhawa, who frequently indulges in high-speed biking on the Indian roads, said catching up with his favourite pastime helped him relax ahead of the prestigious event.
"I did a lot of biking which has rejuvenated me," smiled Randhawa. “I was quite relaxed. I was focussed. I played the way the golf course should be played," he added. Randhawa birdied all the par fives and enjoyed a chip-in birdie on the fourth.
“I took my chances when I could and I played safe when I had to. I made a few long par putts coming in, six, seven footers, which is quite good for my confidence,” he added.
The presence of Federer, who is here for the Shanghai Tennis Masters, failed to inspire Woods as he left the course a frustrated man. Despite a superb start with an opening birdie from six feet, the American superstar double bogeyed the next hole by hooking his drive into the jungle and took a penalty drop.
“Very frustrating because I was in a great position to get to about four under and that would have been fine,” said Woods.
"I've got a lot of work to do. The course is playing a lot harder this year, it's firm and fast.
As the world number one Tiger Woods struggled, Briton Marc Warren considered himself unlucky. Warren, however, believes that a vanishing ball on the 15th hole robbed him of two shots.
“I think if it hadn't happened, I'd be a shot in front,” the Scot told reporters of the disappearance of his ball from the middle of the fairway.