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Randhawa, Chowrasia resume battle of greens in BILT Open

Written by: Staff

Greater Noida, Oct 25 (UNI) Seasoned campaigner Jyoti Randhawa won the first round of the battle in the Indian Open but rookie SSP Chowrasia is plotting to turn the tables on his senior colleague when the duo tee off in the BILT Open here tomorrow.

And as the first event under the rebel Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) gets underway tomorrow, Shiv Kapur, smarting from a string of average shows, would like to gatecrash into the party, while old war-horses Richard Blackwell and Rick Gibson provide the foreign flavour to the Rs 70 lakh event.

By his standard, Shiv has had an average season so far and the exciting talent rued that his putter went cold in the Indian Open, where he finished tied 21st.

''I didn't have an excellent start and later my putting also left much to be desired. But I'm ready to put myself back on the track here and looking forward to a great week,'' a confident Shiv told UNI.

Gaurav Ghei, on an all time high after winning the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and following with a tied seventh finish in Indian Open, will be another name to reckon over the next four days.

Despite a high competitive field, also including Rahil Gangjee and Digvijay Singh, it's more likely to be a Randhawa-Chowrasia duel spread over four rounds.

The duo went neck-and-neck in the Indian Open, which had a three-way tie after four rounds. Once Vijay Kumar shot into jungle and withdrew, it was a two-horse race where neither Randhawa, nor Chowrasia was ready to concede an inch. But in the end, Randhawa sunk a two-foot birdie to settle the issue and seal the victory.

But even Randhawa admits the battle is far from over.

''Chowrasia is a fantastic player and he is having a great time out there in the course. You just can't ignore a player who is going through a purple patch. He is a star in the making,'' Randhawa told UNI.

That, however, doesn't mean Chowrasia would find it a stroll in the park, especially when Randhawa is mentally better equipped to handle pressure-cooker scenario, as he proved at the Delhi Golf Club.

''It's definitely going to be a mental battle. In fact at this stage, you don't have technically much to learn and it boils down to how strong you are emotionally.

''I have been working with Dr Tarun Jain on this aspect and I hope it pays off,'' he said.

Chowrasia, on the other hand, is nonchalant about the field and says he doesn't get bogged down by opponents' reputation.

''I'm having a good time in the course and I just want to extend it here too. I have had a good look at the course and the layout makes me confident. You can't predict who would win the tournament but I'm confident of putting up good shows over the next four days,'' he said.


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