Thursday, May 10, 2007

Randhawa to concentrate on European Tour

Having tasted success in the Asian Tour, ace golfer Jyoti Randhawa now wants to concentrate and restrict himself to the European golf.

'I will try to restrict myself for the European Tour and try to win there. I had my fair share of success on the Asian Tour. Eventually in future I want to go and play in the US Professional Golf Association (USPGA) Tour as well,' said Randhawa here Wednesday, on the eve of the Rs 6.5 million DLF Masters.
Randhawa, a former Asian No.1, said he would also participate in the tournaments organised by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) to fulfil his commitments towards the newly formed golf body in the country.
'I have my commitments towards the PGTI and will spend some time here. I have been backing this tour and this is the nurturing stage for the golf in the country,' he said.


The 35-year-old Randhawa, who turned professional in 1994, has six Asian Tour titles to his credit till date. He won the Hero Honda Masters in 1998 and 1999 and won the Wills Indian Open tournament and the Singapore Open in 2000.
Randhawa, who was Asia's number one in 2002, ended a two-year winless run by lifting Volvo Masters of Asia in Malaysia. Last year he won the Hero Honda Indian Open crown in a play-off.
He said the PGTI has a good future in store for the young golfers and that the body has grown by leaps and bound in just nine months.
'The Indian tour is very good and it is a place where we have grown up playing. It is good that we players have come forward and formed our own tour,' said Randhawa, an Arjuna Awardee.
'The only thing that we are lacking is money. If we have more prize money we will have more competition among the players. And if it happens we will obviously have a world champion very soon. The prize money is improving now and the future of Indian golf seems bright,' he opined.
Randhawa has taken time off from his busy schedule to play the DLF Masters, which will be played here Thursday.
'The DLF Masters is an unique event as it aims to combine professional and amateur golf at the highest level. I am sure both the prizes - for the professionals as well as the team event will be closely contested - the main criteria for the great tournament,' he said.
'I am looking forward to the challenge of playing the DLF Masters at the strategic DLF Golf and Country Club as this is also my home course. The field this week has a lot of depth and I am sure a lot of exciting golf will be on the cards this week.'
Being played on the basis of the world-renowned AT and amp;T Pebble-Beach Pro-Am and the Dunhill Links Championship, the DLF Masters will see 120 professionals tee it up.
However, the top-50 professionals, who make the cut, will each play with an amateur partner over the weekend. The amateur field will comprise the creme de la creme of the country's leading corporate golfers. While the winning professional score will be calculated according to the stroke play format, there will also be exciting team prizes on offer.


From correspondents in Haryana, India, 08:33 PM IST