Chowrasia,Randhawa spearhead Indian challenge in SAIL open golf

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Noida, Feb 19 (UNI) Indian golf's new poster boy S S P Chowrasia along with evergreen Jyoti Randhawa will spearhead home challenge in the 400,000 dollar SAIL Open Golf starting at Jaypee Greens here from tomorrow.

The SAIL Open will raise the number of Asian Tour tournaments in India to four this season.

The inagural edition of the SAIL Open also has start studded foreign field which includes among others Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, a former Asia Number one, Mardan Mamat of Singapore and Hendrik Buhrmann of South Africa.

While Thaworn and Mardan have won the Indian Open in the past, Buhrmann won the Ambey Valley Asian Masters in 2006.

Prayad Marksaeng, Bryan Saltus, Chinnarat Phadungsil, Anthony Kang, Adam Blyth, Thammannoon Srirot will provide more competitive edge to the championship.

''I needed time for myself and re-think about my whole career,'' said Chowrasia, who arrived in Delhi last night and enjoyed a practice round at the Greg Norman-designed Jaypee Greens earlier today.

Chowrasia, who stunned a classy field which included South African star Ernie Els at the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters a fortnight ago said,''All the celebrations back home in Kolkata was great, but I did manage a little bit of practice.'' ''This is an exciting time for Indian golf and an event in India offers a great opportunity for Indian players,'' he added.

Another front runner for the title Gaurav Ghei was of the view that Indian golf is seeing a big change.

'' We have a whole lot of talented players, who can win on any day,'' Ghai said.

The Indian starcast will also include Digviay Singh and Gaurav Ghei, fourth and sixth respectively at the Indian Masters, besides Rahil Gangjee, winner of the 2004 Volkswagen Masters, China.

Seasoned campaigners Amandeep Johl, Harmeet Kahlon, Ashok Kumar and Feroz Ali will also be in the field as will be the youth brigade led by Gurbaaz Mann, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Anirban Lahiri and Ranjit Singh among others.

However, Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun atwal and Shiv Kapur have dropped out because of personal reasons.

UNI HSB RKM PM1909

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