Three's Company in Phuket

Sat 07 Mar 2009

Three's Company in Phuket


Phuket, March 7: Indian star Jyoti Randhawa charged into the joint third round lead at the Singha Thailand Open after firing a sizzling eight-under-par 62 on Saturday.


The 2002 Asian Tour number one was in irrepressible form at Laguna Phuket Golf Club, sinking an eagle, seven birdies and one bogey to tie countryman S.S.P. Chowrasia and Welshman Rhys Davies at 12-under-par 198 after starting the day eight shots back.

Overnight leader Chowrasia battled to a 70 in the US$500,000 event while Davies, chasing a maiden victory, missed a five-foot birdie chance for the outright lead at the 18th hole for a 69.

Sweet-swinging Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines and Australian David Bransdon share fourth place on 200 while Thailand's Prom Meesawat gave himself a chance of emulating his father's victory in the Singha Thailand Open with a 66 which left him three shots back.

Randhawa, 36, wielded his putter like a magic wand, rolling in 14 one-putts on his card. "It was great putting today. I holed everything," said Randhawa, who is chasing an eighth Asian Tour title.

His eagle came courtesy of a radar-guided two iron approach from 246 yards which landed four feet of the flag. "That was the only fairway that I hit all day and I made eagle. I need to hit more fairways to hit more eagles but I'm not complaining," he said.


Randhawa has enjoyed his time on the holiday isle of Phuket and reckons it has paid off. "I'm enjoying the sun, sand and going scuba diving. I'm going to keep this relaxed attitude forever. Every time you get too hyper and try too much, it goes the other way. Maybe I just found something that I need to do week in, week out. Sometimes I get too uptight. Maybe this works," he said.

The 23-year-old Davies, who posted three top-10s in his rookie Asian Tour season last year, endured a roller-coaster day with four birdies against three dropped shots as the swirling winds knocked him off stride.

"I didn't quite get a few putts to go in but it wasn't like I was putting badly. I just didn't quite get the right lines. Overall, I'm not too displeased at all. I'm looking forward to tomorrow," he said.

"I enjoyed being in the mix today, I felt comfortable. I had some bogeys around the turn but didn't panic or let it bother me."


After a 62 on Friday, Chowrasia, who won the Indian Masters last year, failed to find his rhythm and settled for three birdies against as many bogeys. However, the 30-year-old still feels confident ahead of Sunday's final round shootout.

"I did not hit it nearly as well as on Friday. But I am still joint leader and I am confident I can play well tomorrow and win the tournament. At the start I had a good feeling but things started to go badly in the middle of the front nine. I hit poor tee shots on six and seven and ended up with two bogeys.
"Overall, I am pretty happy. I did not hole many putts but I hit a lot close - maybe tomorrow they will drop," said Chowrasia.

Pagunsan renewed his love affair with Thailand by moving into fourth place after a bogey-free 65. Despite playing with a wrist injury, the Filipino snared five birdies. "I just play well over here. I like it in Thailand," said Pagunsan, who has notched three top-threes in the country over the past two years.

"I worked hard during the off season, maybe I'm seeing the results of that. I would wake up at 5.30am every morning, run for 30 minutes, go to the gym and then head to the course to practice. The last three years, I've always played badly at the start of the year. So I wanted to change something and it seems to be working so far."

Leading third round scores

198 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 68-68-62, S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) 66-62-70, Rhys Davies (WAL) 65-64-69

200 - Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 70-65-65, David Bransdon (AUS) 66-65-69

201 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 71-64-66, Unho Park (AUS) 64-71-66, Wu Ashun (CHN) 67-67-67, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 65-68-68, Tim Stewart (AUS) 65-67-69, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 64-66-71

202 - Keith Horne (RSA) 65-69-68, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 64-69-69, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 66-67-69, Udorn Duangdecha (THA) 66-66-70, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 68-66-68

203 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 69-70-64, Park Jun-Won (KOR) 67-70-66, Siddikur (BAN) 68-68-67, Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 68-68-67, Ben Leong (MAS) 69-66-68, Kim Dae-hyun (KOR) 70-64-69

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

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.