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Jyoti loses himself to regain focus

other Updated: Mar 28, 2012 23:20 IST
Robin Bose

Quitting the scene hadn't crossed the mind, yet the intent was to stay away from golf. To ensure the mind was far removed from a pursuit he has followed for long, Jyoti Randhawa plunged into activities as diverse as skydiving, shooting and scuba diving.

"The feeling was that I'd played for too long and slipping out of contention week-after-week, the interest was gone," he said.

Carrying out 10 jumps a day at Lodi, near San Francisco, for a week, there was time for little else, but amid the frenetic activity, Jyoti started to feel the pangs of separation. When it grew in intensity, he sat down to take stock.

The three months of brainstorming in the summer of 2011 may have led to frayed tempers, but Jyoti took it in his stride.

Time to rethink
"At home all the time, I got on everyone's nerves, but at least I could put my feet up and introspect while my wife took care of the expenses," he said, rubbing his day-old stubble.

If earlier he was striking the ball for merely the sake of hitting it, realisation dawned that a lack of concerted effort was what he had been missing out on. The work on ball-hitting under tournament pressure was still on when he broke a two-and-half year title drought at the Players Championship in August.

The ascendancy had started and teaming up with Pritam Saikia made him view things a lot clearer.

"Ball-striking was a missing link and when Pritam said so, he buttressed the perception of the coaches I had previously been to," said Jyoti.

An infected left eye, which caused him to pull out midway through the Panasonic Open pro-am, was an irritant, but while tending to it, the 39-year-old multiple winner on the Asian Tour was keen to complete the narration of his journey from that win at the Classic Golf Resort in August to last week's triumph in demanding circumstances.

Shooting star
The result at Noida indicated he was right in making the changes (suggested by Saikia) work around his old swing. Making the cut in the 300m big bore event at the National Shooting Championship on Tuesday was an affirmation he could "use my focus under pressure again".

"Golf and shooting are similar. Both require presence of mind and the right thought process," he said, in between acknowledging the odd admirer.

The tee-off at the Delhi Golf Club on Thursday will mark his 200th event on the Asian Tour, but the feat is a blur.

Occupying the mind is the need to do what is required of him.

"By harbouring expectations, you set yourself up for misery. I'm not up for it."