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Randhawa storms to Thailand Open victory

March 09, 2009 16:18 IST

Jyoti Randhawa blasted a flawless five-under 65 in the final round to cruise to a comfortable two-stroke victory over Rhys Davies of Wales at the US $500,000 Thailand Open in Phuket on Sunday.

The 36-year-oldĀ Indian golferĀ sank as many as five birdies to take his tally to 17-under 263 to pip Davies, who hit three-under 67 at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club.

Chinese Taipei's Lu Wei-chih fired a five-under 65 to settle for third position, one stroke ahead of SSP Chowrasia (69) at tied fourth along with Chinese Wu Ashun (66).

Randhawa was off to a brilliant start with a birdie at the first hole before hitting on a birdie-brace at the fourth and fifth to take the turn at three-under.

His backward journey was equally magical as he picked up two more birdies at the 12th and 15th to clinch the title and get richer by US $79,250.

"I'm feeling great. I played marvellous golf the last two days. To shoot five under without any bogeys was good, I'm very happy," said Randhawa.

"The way the course was set up and the way it was playing, I thought I could shoot some low numbers and I did that the last two days and I'm glad I did it," said Randhawa, the first Indian to lift the Thailand Open Trophy.

In contrast, Chowrasia squandered a first hole eagle and dropped three bogeys in his front nine before making amends with a birdie on the 12th to settle for the fourth place.

Among other Indians in fray, Gaganjeet Bhullar carded a one-under 69 to finish tied 10th with a total of 10-under 270, along with Himmat Rai who turned in a five-under 65.

Anirban Lahiri's six-under 64 saw him finish at the tied 19th spot with a total of 9-under 271, while Shiv Kapur finished tied 32 with a final round 69.

Amandeep Johl (75) and Digvijay Singh (76) signed off at the bottom at 64th and tied 66th spot respectively.

Indian-born Swede Daniel Chopra blasted the best card of the day, a seven-under 63 to sign off tied sixth with a total of 12-under 268.

2002 Asian number one Randhawa said his relaxed attitude, where he spent time scuba diving with fellow competitor and brother-in-law Digvijay Singh and their families, was the key to his success on the holiday isle of Phuket.

"That's the mantra now. I need to relax a bit and chill out. You don't practice and work hard during tournaments. You do it before that. I came here, I swam, I went scuba diving and I enjoyed myself. And here I am, I've won a golf tournament. I learned a lot and I think I need to do this more often," said Randhawa.

"The two boys [Davies and Chowrasia] got me going. They were on my heels the whole day. SSP made an eagle on the first hole and I needed to wake up and do something and luckily I did. It was good competition," he added.

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