Indian golf never had it so good, says Randhawa
New Delhi, Nov 21: Two entries in the elite top 100 league, three different winners and a host of others who are just a step or two away from glory, Indian golf seldom had it so good, gushes Jyoti Randhawa.
Randhawa is back in the capital after his impressive outings in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai where he led the first two rounds before eventually finishing tied ninth, followed by the tied third finish at UBS Hong Kong in Sunday.
Talking to reporters, Randhawa, Goodwill Ambassador of the Community Against Drunken Driver (CADD), said Indian golf is relatively young but making long strides.
''You have had threen different winners - Gaurav (Ghei), Jeev (Milkha Singh) and me -- and then players like Rahil Gnagjee and SSP Chowrasia too came close to wins on a few occasion. This is perhaps the best season we have had in long time. We are definitely making long strides in golf,'' he explained.
This has been a bumper year for Indian golf which saw Jeev Milkha Singh win the Volvo Masters in Spain and Gaurav Ghei bagging the Taiwan Masters, while Randhawa lifted the Indian Open on home soil to join the league.
''At present, Indian golfers are definitely among the best and it's thrilling to imagine Indian golf 10 years down the line,'' he said.
Among the top three, only Arjun Atwal, has had a bad year in the PGA Tour and the Orlando-based Indian failed to retain his next year's card.
Randhawa, however, feels that it's just a matter of time before Atwal is back in the groove.
''Have no doubt, he is going to come back. I'm a great admirer of his game and it's just a matter of time before Atwal returns with a bang.
''He had a stupendous year last season (when Atwal missed just one cut) but things went awry this time. But it's so common in golf and he will be back in form again,'' Randhawa said of his former World Cup partner.
Meanwhile, on his own game, Randhaw said he was happy that both in Shanghai and Hong Kong he took early lead but felt he needed to handle the pressure well and play four rounds of consistent golf to finish the round in similar fashion. ''It was good that I got early leads. But that puts you under pressure and I think I have learnt a lot.
'' In Shanghai, this was my first outing with such a world class field and suddenly you see yourself leading after two rounds, ahead of other world class players like Tiger Woods. This was a good learning experience for me and I'm sure, I'll do better in similar situations next year,'' he explained.
''I'm still happy with the way I came back strongly despite slipping from the lead in Hong Kong. It boosted my confidence and I'm convinced that I can fightback,'' Randhawa added.
The lanky golfer is satisfied with his first European Tour season and Randhawa knows his best chance of laying fingers on a trophy there would come next year.
''I now have an idea about how to get on with it. European Tour teaches you a lot, because elements play a big role there. The climate and the high level of competition make it a difficult job there but I'm confident,'' he said.
''Towards the end of the next year, I would try to qualify for the US PGA Tour,'' he added.
And to achieve his goals for the next season, Randhawa has already identified the areas he would work on.
''I think I need to improve how to work the ball and control it.
Besides, I can further improve my short game and also the mental aspect of the game,'' he explained.