The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Randhawa set to shoot a birdie

New Delhi: Ace Indian golfer and Asia’s No. 1 professional Jyoti Randhawa will be shooting birdies of a different kind when he takes part in trap shooting competition in the pre-national GV Mavlankar shooting championship to be held in Chennai from August 23-24.

Randhawa’s would be perhaps the first case in the world of a golfer taking up a different sport at a competitive level. Mostly it has been the other way round.

Randhawa said shooting has been a passion for him and he was all set to give it a new direction. “I am eagerly looking forward to the experience. I am confident of doing well and qualifying for the nationals,” said the 31-year-old, who recently won the Kashmir Open, season-opening major on the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour.

Born and brought up in army cantonments Randhawa started shooting at an early age. However, it was only recently that he started taking up his hobby seriously.

He now practises regularly with ace shooters Joravar and Mansher at the Dr. Karni Singh shooting range at Tughlakabad.

“I have been practising regularly with Mansher for the last few days as Joravar is out of the country. They have trained me well and I can now score about 14-15 points in a round of 25 in trap shooting, which is my favourite event. I like skeet and double trap, but the uncertainty of trap shooting fascinates me,” said Randhawa, who owns a Browning, which he purchased two years ago.

“Mansher and Joravar can score almost 22-25 out of 25 and I will have to work extremely hard to reach that level. I can be much better than what I am, but for the fact that I cannot devote time to shooting because of golfing commitments.”

“The GV Mavlankar championship is just the starting point for me and will tell me where I stand. Obviously, it would be great if I can represent India in shooting sometime in future,” added the golfer, who leaves for Chennai on August 21 for the championship.

A natural sportsman, Randhawa could have easily walked away with medals in swimming during his school days. But despite having some great timings in both 50m and 100m freestyle, he never participated in the nationals.

“Shooting is not an alternate career for me right now. It’s just that I love the sport. I need to indulge in some sporting activity throughout my life. And since age is not a barrier for shooting, I enjoy the idea of playing two sports — golf and shooting — concurrently,” said Randhawa, who is only the second Indian golfer after Jeev Milkha Singh to qualify for the Japanese PGA Tour. (PTI)

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