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Randhawa wins maiden Thailand Open

Jyoti Randhawa blasted a flawless five-under 65 in the final round to cruise to a comfortable two-stroke victory over Rhys Davies of Wales at the Singha $500,000 Thailand Open in Phuket on Sunday, reports Robin Bose.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2009 00:46 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times

The results have taken time, but that was expected. After the alterations to his game last year, Jyoti Randhawa persevered for the tide to turn. The wait may have ended, but it seems to have sharpened his penchant for change.

After the Maybank Malaysian Open, where he missed out by a stroke to finish second to Anthony Kang, and the tied seventh finish at the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open, the 36-year-old's form was never in doubt. Drawing from the season's strong start on the Asian Tour, Jyoti decided to make another deviation for the $500,000 Singha Thailand Open.

Intent to make his stay at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club, a “holiday week”, he “went scuba diving and enjoyed the sun and sand.” Acquiring a tan meant Jyoti got little time for practice. “I came 10 minutes before the pro-am on Wednesday, hit a few balls and teed it up,” he said.

Going with the newfound attitude, the initial cards may have been steady but were in sync with the target of shooting “low numbers”. Saturday saw Jyoti turning on the heat with a 62 that placed him atop the leaderboard.

If the rock-solid intent wasn't enough, “the two boys (joint leaders SSP Chowrasia and Rhys Davies) got him going” on Sunday. Jyoti set a blistering pace with three birdies in the space of five holes to scorch the competition. SSP flattered with an opening-hole eagle but fell away. Davies was dogged but the Welshman's tenacity was not enough as the Indian came up with regular winners to pocket $79,250 and his eighth Asian Tour title.

Jyoti, who became the first Indian to win the Thailand Open, told HT, “The changes I made to my game are finally holding up under pressure. This will be great for my confidence when I shift focus on the European Tour.” While hoping to build on “strengths” like putting, grey areas like “chipping around the greens and driving on the tees” require attention.

On the new mindset, he said, “I am a fun person and need to bring this on the course too. I've found something that I need to do week in, week out.”