"Sun, Sea and Singha Win for Jyoti"

Sun 08 Mar 2009

"Sun, Sea and Singha Win for Jyoti"


Phuket, March 8: Indian star Jyoti Randhawa cruised to a comfortable two-stroke victory at the Singha Thailand Open for his eighth Asian Tour victory on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Randhawa produced a flawless five-under-par 65 to hold off Rhys Davies of Wales, who equalled his best performance on Tour with a closing 67 at Laguna Phuket Golf Club for second place.


Chinese Taipei's Lu Wei-chih settled for third position, three behind the winner, after a 65 while S.S.P. Chowrasia of India was tied fourth alongside upcoming Chinese talent Wu Ashun after rounds of 69 and 66 respectively.

"I'm feeling great. I played marvellous golf the last two days. To shoot five under without any bogeys was good, I'm very happy," said Randhawa, whose winning total of 17-under-par 263 earned him a cheque for US$79,250.

Tied for the overnight lead with Davies and Chowrasia, Randhawa, who charged into contention with a sizzling 62 on Saturday, pulled one stroke clear of the pack after shooting three birdies in his opening five holes. He coolly maintained his grip down the final straight with further birdies on the 12th and 15th holes.

 "The way the course was set up and the way it was playing, I thought I could shoot some low numbers and I did that the last two days and I'm glad I did it," said Randhawa, who is the first Indian to lift the Singha Thailand Open King's Trophy.

The 2002 Asian number one said his relaxed attitude, where he spent time scuba diving with fellow competitor and brother-in-law Digvijay Singh and their families, was the key to his success on the holiday isle of Phuket.

"That's the mantra now," said Randhawa. "I need to relax a bit and chill out. You don't practice and work hard during tournaments. You do it before that. I came here, I swam, I went scuba diving and I enjoyed myself. And here I am, I've won a golf tournament. I learned a lot and I think I need to do this more often.

"The two boys (Davies and Chowrasia) got me going. They were on my heels the whole day. S.S.P. made an eagle on the first hole and I needed to wake up and do something and luckily I did. It was good competition."

Davies, who was bidding for a first Asian Tour title, was happy that he pushed Randhawa all the way. "I thought that if I played a good solid round it would give me a chance. With a few holes to go I had a chance but I just missed out," said the Welshman.

The 23-year-old stayed close on Randhawa's shoulders and trailed by two at the turn. He blew his chance of turning on the pressure at the two closing par five holes by bogeying the 17th after finding trouble in thick rough.

"Jyoti played great- he hit a number of great shots and a few good putts at the right time and that was the difference, I think," said Davies. "Maybe his experience also helped but I felt comfortable in that position. It just did not quite happen - a few things did not go right and if they had it would have been a different story."

Lu, chasing a second Tour title, threw in a bold challenge by going to five under for the round through 15 holes but his hopes came undone at the demanding 17th, the second toughest hole during the week, when he hooked his drive into the hazard and dropped a bogey.

"I tensed up with the tee shot," said Lu. "I didn't think about winning all day long but when I was two back I thought of giving it a push but hit a poor shot on the 17th tee."

Thongchai Jaidee, winner of the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open last Sunday, and Chapchai Nirat finished as the top Thais in a share of 10th place at 270, seven shots behind the winner while two-time US PGA Tour winner Daniel Chopra of Sweden came in seventh place after closing with a 63.


Leading final round scores

263 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 68-68-62-65

265 - Rhys Davies (WAL) 65-64-69-67

266 - Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 65-68-68-65

267 - Wu Ashun (CHN) 67-67-67-66, S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) 66-62-70-69

268 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 67-69-69-63, Yasin Ali (ENG) 70-68-66-64

269 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 66-67-69-67, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 68-66-68-67

270 - Mark Purser (NZL) 68-69-70-63, Anthony Kang (USA) 67-70-68-65, Himmat Rai (IND) 65-72-68-65, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 69-70-64-67, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 64-69-69-68, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 64-66-71-69, Keith Horne (RSA) 65-69-68-68, Unho Park (AUS) 64-71-66-69, Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 70-65-65-70

For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Chuah Choo Chiang at the Singha Thailand Open media centre tel: +667 7636 3810. Also visit www.asiantour.com

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.