Irrespective of his round, Jyoti Randhawa is not known to dwell on the day gone by for long. Wednesday was no exception. Emerging from the tournament office after submitting a card of 67, the intention was to quietly evade the media contingent. On being spotted, he whirled around with the words, “Let’s hurry it up guys, I need to hit a few balls.”
The feel after the prolonged session was positive and the 39-year-old left the DLF Golf & Country Club, comforted by the fact that his long and short game could help him extend the solitary stroke lead over Anirban Lahiri. The course a test of skill and character, Jyoti did well for himself. "It was a day of good conversion," he said of the seven birdies he sank. "I putted well and barring the 15th (where he missed a putt from four feet), I made birdies wherever I wanted to.
Jyoti made it a point to record his gratitude. "But for the preferred lie, we wouldn't have been able to shoot such scores. Otherwise, two-under would have been good enough."
The conditions on offer were clearly not up to expectations. "The grass hasnt come together after the monsoon, and as a result, the course is yet to mature," he said.
If the course played patchy for some, Jyoti’s craft was at the other end of the spectrum. Interspersing his birdies well, he would have made the turn at three-under but for the dropped shot on the 8th when the putt rolled more than expected.
The back-nine shaped up well and back-to-back birdies on the 10th and 11th took him beyond Gaurav Ghei and Om Prakash Chouhan, both of whom returned a 70 to be best-placed in the morning session. The blemish on the 17th was an irritant, but sandwiched in between birdies, it was a finish he accepted with cupped hands.