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Asian hopes on Jyoti

Sandwich (England): Asian No. 1 Jyoti Randhawa gets his second taste of British Open golf at Royal St George’s here this week and he is aiming to make it into the weekend after missing the cut at St Andrews in 2000.

The Indian star completed his build-up by playing a practice round with two-time major winner Vijai Singh of Fiji and is relishing the opportunity to prove his mettle against the likes of Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.

“Anytime you get to play in an event with all the top guys present, it’s a great yardstick for measuring your own game,” said Randhawa, who was exempted into the elite field by virtue of winning the Asian PGA Tour Order of Merit last season.

“The players here are facing the same course, the same conditions and everyone is equal. It’s a terrific opportunity to prove yourself. Everyone in the British Open is a proven player and anyone can win if it’s their day.”

The four-time winner in Asia is delighted to represent India and the Asian PGA Tour at the world’s oldest and most internationally recognised major.

He will be only the second player from his country to feature in the British Open. The other is Gaurav Ghei, who qualified for the Open in 1997.

“When I was on the golf course, I saw the Indian flag waving above the grandstand. That was a great feeling as I’m here for India and the Asian PGA Tour,” he said.

In his bid for success, Randhawa arrived at Royal St Georges at the weekend in the hope of learning more about the famed links layout.

“The course is a lot more forgiving than I had expected. However, the course is dry and fast and you tend to get some funny bounces. But you can play from out of the rough. The course is set up nicely and is playing well,” he said.

As pars are normally at a premium at any British Open, Randhawa realises the need for him to stick to his game plan in the event that bogeys start appearing on his scorecard.

“Right now, I’m happy with certain aspects of my game. I’m still working on various other parts. If I get on a roll and everything clicks, then it will be great,” said Randhawa.

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