Randhawa, Jeev qualify for US Open
The two ace golfers managed to finish inside top eight at the US Open Sectional Qualifier in London.india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 14:55 IST
Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa played games of their lives to qualify for the prestigious US Open golf tournament slated next week.
Randhawa and Jeev authored a red-letter day for the Indian golf by carding six- and five-under on the last nine to finish inside top eight at the US Open Sectional Qualifier at Walton Heath booking their places for the year's second Major, the US Open to be played at Winged Foot.
It is the first time that two Indians have come through qualifiers for the same Major. In the past, Arjun Atwal and Randhawa played at the 2004 British Open, but Atwal came through as an automatic berth for having topped the Asian Tour in 2003.
Randhawa had six birdies on his back nine after seeming to have blown away his chances on the front nine.
After a first round one-under 71, he was one-over for front nine and then played six-under for backstretch to book his ticket. He finished his second round in 67 for a total of 138 to be tied second, eight shots behind the run away leader and topper Marten Lafeber, whose 64 and 66 saw him finish at eight-under 130.
Six players finished at five-under or less, five players finished at four-under 140 and they had a play-off to decide last two berths.
Jeev, who is having a great run this year, including winning the Volvo China Open and leading the Asian Tour Order of Merit, continued his love affair with New York.
"New York and I seem to go hand in hand," said Jeev, who needed to hole a 10-foot putt on the final hole to avoid a play-off.
"It was tense, but I holed it cleanly. I have played eight weeks on the trot and then this qualifier. I am tired, but it all worth it."
This is Jeev's second US Open, while Randhawa, who has played the British Open three times, will be playing his first US Open.
The two players are also trying to earn a berth for the British Open with their performances in next few weeks. Shiv Kapur, who pulled out of the Walton Heath qualifier, has already qualified for the British Open.
Arjun Atwal and Daniel Chopra are playing in the US Open qualifier at Columbus, Ohio at the Brookside Golf and Country Club.
Asian Tour Chief Executive Louis Martin was delighted with the Indian duo's success. "This is a double celebration for Indian golf and the Asian Tour. Jeev and Jyoti are amongst the best players in the region and we are confident they will represent their country and the Asian Tour well in New York."
Last week, Randhawa, Asia's number one in 2002, playing solidly in his rookie season in Europe this year and was tied 14th in last week's Celtic Manor Wales Open, while Jeev was tied 21st.