Calcutta: Jyoti Randhawa has a dream. He wants to be a part of the Rio Olympics team. “Rio is in 2016. So I have time. Right now, the Rio challenge is motivating me… I have to be in Rio,” the three-time Indian Open champion said on the eve of the inaugural McLeod Russel Tour Championship, PGTI’s year-ending Championship, at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club on Tuesday.
Golf will make its maiden appearance in the Rio Games and the top 100 players will be eligible to play. “Four years is a long time. If I can put my act together you never know…”
Battling injury, which had forced him to pull out of a few tournaments, Jyoti is here with his five-year-old son Zoravar.
“I am five-and-a-half,” he clarified while staring at an empty mineral water bottle after walking the course where he chased butterflies as his father played a practice round.
“My son has a very good swing,” Jyoti said indulgently. “But I am not sure whether he will follow his father’s footsteps or will be an actor.”
This is Jyoti’s first visit to the Royal Calcutta Golf Club since 1999 when the club hosted the Indian Open. “Lot has changed. The course is of international standard. It will be interesting to see how the golfers live up to the challenge.”
Jyoti, Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal are the three who made golf popular in India. The youngsters look up to them and seek their guidance whenever in need. If Jeev has the style and Atwal is more natural, Jyoti is the regimented one. Probably because of his Army background. “During our days in a junior tournament we used to have only 15 entries. It was that bad. Now the scenario has changed,” Jyoti said.
“In America, legends like Jack Nicklaus or Ben Hogan imparted knowledge to the next generation. That’s how the younger lot learnt the game. Here in India now you cannot expect something like this.”