Dongguan, China, Nov 20 (UNI) Jyoti Randhawa and Gaurav Ghei hope to spring a surprise in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup which begins here from Thursday.
The Indian stars, both winners on the Asian Tour this season, believe they have the credentials to become only the third Asian team to lift the World Cup since the event's inauguration in 1953.
''Definitely, we'll be looking at winning this,'' said Jyoti today. ''If we were to win, we'll be like movie stars or cricketers overnight (back home). Golf has come up in a big way in the last five years in India and it's time we go out and play well too.
''It's a team event and it's pride for the country. An individual win won't matter as much as when you win something like this as a country,'' added Jyoti, who lifted the third Hero Honda Indian Open title last month.
India's last appearance in the World Cup was two years ago when Jyoti partnered Arjun Atwal to ninth place in Portugal. They were the joint first round leaders.
Jyoti is confident that he and Ghei, currently ninth on the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit, can strike it hot as a pair. ''We've played a lot of golf together when we were coming through the pro ranks and we are good friends. I took last week off as I was mentally tired and I feel fresh now. Playing with Gaurav will be great,'' said Jyoti.
Ghei was equally buoyant about India's chances at the 5 million dollar Omega Mission Hills World Cup.
''Jyoti has had a great year and I've had a good year. If we get going, hopefully we'll spring a few surprises,'' said Ghei, who is making his third World Cup appearance.
''We'll both be nervous, but we're keen to perform well. It'll be fun partnering with Jyoti and It will be a good week.'' Ghei rated the Olazabal Course highly, saying it will differentiate the top teams from the rest.
''It's a course that will separate the good players from the rest.
The foursomes will be very difficult and one loose shot can mean a big number.
''It will be exciting on the last day with the way the last few holes play. Anything can happen there. It'll be interesting to watch as it's a really challenging golf course,'' said Ghei.
Asia's hopes will also be led by the home team of Liang Wen-chong, the current Asian Tour's number one, and Zhang Lian-wei, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng and Gerald Rosales and Tony Lascuna of the Philippines.
The leading contenders include South Africa's Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman, England's Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, Scotland's Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warrren.