| Randhawa has more faith in his abilities now
Kuala Lumpur: Asian No. 1 Jyoti Randhawa will stay clear of the hoopla that surrounds the British Open in his bid to track Tiger Woods and the games top draws at next week’s major.
The Indian star will carry the Asian PGA’s challenge at Royal St Georges and left New Delhi on Thursday to get in precious practice rounds at the famed links layout.
Randhawa’s mindset will be simple. “I’m just going to treat it as any other tournament,” he vowed.
Lessons learnt from his maiden outing at the British Open at St Andrews three years ago will be put to good use as he attempts to make a lasting impression this time around.
“At St Andrews, I was really excited and got caught up with the hype of qualifying for the British Open and then missed the cut. That is why it will be important for me to simply focus on the job ahead.
“I’m going to treat the Open as another tournament. That’s the best way to do it. I must remain calm and patient when the tournament starts. I got excited the last time around and it cost me.”
He plans to head to Royal St Georges on Saturday with his cousin-cum-caddie Manveer to walk the 18 holes.
“I’ll play practice rounds on Sunday and Monday, take Tuesday off to walk the course again and study its intimate details and then have one more 18-hole round on the eve of the event. Then, I’ll be ready to go,” said Randhawa.
Last year, Randhawa claimed Asia’s most revered golfing prize by winning the Asian PGA Tour Order of Merit title.
He was out of action for six months following a motorbike accident in March but returned stronger and better, thanks to a combination of yoga and steely determination.
Randhawa claimed the Merit title despite not winning but he accumulated 10 top-15 finishes to become India’s first Asian number one, a mantle that earned him an invitation to the British Open plus playing privileges on the Japan Tour where he has played regularly this year.
His self-belief has also been boosted by a sixth place finish at last October’s Dunhill Links Championship, played at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, three of Scotlands top courses.
“I’m playing very well now and mentally, I’m believing more in my abilities. I have made some mental errors in Japan this season and I need to control this aspect of my game at the British Open,” said Randhawa, a four-time winner on the Asian PGA circuit.