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Indian trio eye Malaysian Open golf title

February 19, 2003 19:30 IST

Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal will lead the Indian challenge at the US $ 1.1 million Carlsberg Malaysian Open, which commences at the Mines Resort Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, on February 20. 

Randhawa, who finished the year 2002 atop the Asian PGA Tour Money List, will be the center of all attention.  The 30-year old Gurgaon-based golfer has struggled to find form this season and will be looking to the Carlsberg Malaysian Open to return his first win of the season.

"The course is up to my liking but you need to place your shots here. My game is patchy at the moment, but I hope to get into the frame at the weekend," said Randhawa.

Jeev Milkha Singh, who became the first Indian to qualify for the prestigious US Open, along with Arjun Atwal will form stiff opposition to the star-studded field.

The other Indians in the fray include Vijay Kumar, Arjun Singh, Harmeet Kahlon and Amandeep Johl. Of these, both Vijay and Kahlon have wins on the Asian PGA Tour under their belt, at the Indian Open 2002 and the Hero Honda Masters 2002 respectively, while Amandeep Johl, who has been part of the Asian circuit ever since its inception in 1995, recently broke a nine-year dry spell with a victory at the Sir Padampat Singhania Open on the Hero Honda Indian Golf Tour. He will be looking for a repeat performance this week.

Meanwhile, a recharged Padraig Harrington makes his first appearance in 2003 at the US$1.1 million Carlsberg Malaysian Open tomorrow aiming to resume his winning ways of last season. The Irish star, ranked ninth in the world, ended the year in a blaze of glory by claiming a title in each month, including a victory over Tiger Woods, after playing a starring role in Europe's Ryder Cup triumph in September.

The Asian PGA challenge will be led by China's Zhang Liang-wei, who currently leads the Order of Merit after four tournaments this season. Zhang made headlines worldwide when he beat Ernie Els to win the Caltex Masters in Singapore last month. The self-taught Chinese ace is the only player to have beaten the South African, who has won four times, this year.