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Randhawa star of Asian challenge

Dubai: India’s Asian PGA Order of Merit leader Jyoti Randhawa will lead a seven-strong pool of players from the booming Asian Tour when the Dubai Desert Classic 2003 gets under way at the Emirates Golf Club here March 6.

Following the historic victory by China’s Zhang Lian Wei in the Singapore Masters recently, the profile of Asian golf has been high as never before. And with big guns Tiger Woods and Ernie Els in their sights, a host of Asian stars will be out to underline the new confidence in the $ 1.2 million Dubai Desert Classic.

Thongchai Jaidee and Thammanoon Srirot of Thailand, Indian Arjun Atwal and Korean teenager Kevin Na will also be seen in action.

Mukesh pulls ahead

Mukesh Kumar on Thursday opened a four-stroke lead at eight-under 134 at the halfway stage of the Hero Honda Open West, being played in Pune. Calcutta’s SSP Chowrasia was tied second place at four-under 138 along with Amandeep Johl of Chandigarh, while defending champion Firoz Ali shot a four-over 75 to fall back to tied-12th place. (PTI)

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