Ghei, Randhawa aim to make history at World Cup
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Ghei, Randhawa aim to make history at World Cup

India's last appearance in the WC was in '05 when Randhawa partnered Atwal to 9th place in Portugal, they were the joint first round leaders.

other Updated: Nov 20, 2007 17:17 IST

Gaurav Ghei and Jyoti Randhawa will aim to "spring a surprise" and become the first Indian and the third Asian team to lift the World Cup when they tee off at the Mission Hills Golf Club here on Thursday.

"Definitely, we'll be looking at winning this. If we were to win, we'll be like movie stars or cricketers overnight (back home). Golf has come up in a big way in the last five years in India and it's time we go out and play well too," Randhawa said.

"It's a team event and it's pride for the country. An individual win won't matter as much as when you win something like this as a country," Randhawa, who lifted a third Hero Honda Indian Open title last month, added.

India's last appearance in the World Cup was two years ago when Randhawa partnered Arjun Atwal to ninth place in Portugal. They were the joint first round leaders back then.

The duo is hoping that they would be able to replicate their fine form this season in the $ five million event.

"We've played a lot of golf together when we were coming through the pro ranks and we are good friends. I took last week off as I was mentally tired and I feel fresh now. Playing with Gaurav will be great," said Randhawa.

Ghei was equally buoyant about India's chances.

"Jyoti has had a great year and I've had a good year. If we get going, hopefully we'll spring a few surprises," said Ghei, who is making his third World Cup appearance.

Ghei rated the Olazabal course highly and said sub-par scores would not be easy to come.

"It's a course that will separate the good players from the rest. The foursomes will be very difficult and one loose shot can mean a big number.

"It will be exciting on the last day with the way the last few holes play. Anything can happen there. It'll be interesting to watch as it's a really challenging golf course," said Ghei.

The only Asian teams to have won the World Cup are Chinese Taipei (Lu Liang-huan and Hsieh Min-nan) in 1972 and Japan (Toshi Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama) in 2002.

The leading contenders for the title include South Africa's Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman, England's Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warrren.

Asians hopes will also be represented by the home team of Liang Wen-chong, the current Asian Tour number one, and Zhang Lian-wei, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng and Gerald Rosales and Tony Lascuna of the Philippines.

The first and third rounds will use the fourball (better ball) format while the second and final rounds will use the foursomes (alternate) format.

First Published: Nov 20, 2007 16:54 IST