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Indian masters could hold the aces

The field at the SAIL Open may boast of 29 Asian Tour winners, including defending champion Chapchai Nirat, but the tight fairways of the Delhi Golf Club can be trusted to test their craft.

other Updated: Mar 25, 2010 23:59 IST

The field at the SAIL Open may boast of 29 Asian Tour winners, including defending champion Chapchai Nirat, but the tight fairways of the Delhi Golf Club can be trusted to test their craft.

After scorching the Classic Golf Resort with a world record 32-under-par 256, the long-hitter has expressed the intent to go one better. But if the affable Thai were to pull it off, he would have to play out of his skin. At least, that is the feeling amongst those who've experienced the course and its hazards over the years.

“If Chapchai does shoot 33-under, I'll be the first to shake hands with him," Jyoti Randhawa said a few days back. On Thursday, Gaurav Ghei, bred on the greens of this historic venue, concurred.

“I'll take off 20 strokes off that," he said during a media interaction.

The veteran pro felt the going wasn't going to be easy. “The rough is just enough to give the players a headache and with the fairways hard and the wind playing a hand, the winning score should be in the range of 15-under," he said.

Young gun Himmat Rai emphasised on keeping the “driver and putter in play". “The key will be to hit it straight and whoever putts well will be rewarded."

Be it Randhawa, who was crowned the Indian Open champion here more than once, or SSP Chowrasia getting past a world-class field to corner the tri-sanctioned Emaar MGF Indian Masters two years ago, the DGC is a happy hunting ground for the home contingent.

The third edition of this $300,000 event, which tees off on March 30, will see the hosts giving it their best shot at the trophy by fielding names like Randhawa, Chowrasia, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur, Anirban Lahiri and Indian Open champion C. Muniyappa.