On any other day and in any other competition, Jyoti Randhawa might have found himself in a fix. For here, on the final day of the BILT Open, he was nowhere near his best. His putting in particular was well below par, though he did card a three-under 69.
But, in the end, even that was good enough for him to walk away with top honours and a cash prize of Rs 11,34,000 in the first event organised by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI). His aggregate was 15-under 273, well clear of Lam Chih Bing, who totalled 276.
Randhawa was quick to point that out after the final round. "I need to sort out certain things. In the next tournament (the HSBC Open), I'll raise my game," he said, hinting at the tougher competition he will have to encounter in Shanghai.
Randhawa, in fact, is quite capable of raising the bar when he when needs to.
On Sunday, when the proceedings were going tough for him at the turn, with Lam breathing down his neck, Randhawa upped the tempo and even though he might have collected a few more birdies than the three he eventually did on back nine, it was good enough for the day.
What worked for him were his drives, and he used that to his advantage. On more than one occasion, it were Lam's second shot that let the Singaporean down. Also, his drives went a little awry.
Earlier, on the front nine, Randhawa struggled to find his bearings. He had a couple of birdies but they alternated with an equal number of bogeys. After a birdie on the second, he bogeyed the sixth and that was followed immediately by another birdie. But Lam caught up with Randhawa on the eighth as the Indian star found the bunker with his approach shot resulting in a bogey.
Amongst the other Indians, SSP Chowrasia, who played in the leader group managed a one-under despite a poor showing. It was an eagle on the 13th hole that saved his day. He ended sole third with 10-under 278. Harmeet Kahlon was further down in the list while Rahul Ganapathy carded a two-over that put him joint fifth.