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New Delhi, India, April 4: India’s history maker Jyoti Randhawa aims to provide more sporting glory for his country by winning the inaugural Panasonic Open (India) which tees off at the Delhi Golf Club on Wednesday.

Euphoria is on an all-time high after India swept aside Sri Lanka to win the cricket world cup and another win by a home grown talent in the sporting arena is certain to evoke more excitement in the game among the home crowd.

“India winning the cricket world cup is great. Golf has also come a long way in India and it’ll be nice if I can win this week too,” said Randhawa, who was the first Indian to win the prestigious Asian Tour Order of Merit title in 2002.

“Sport in the country has not been given much importance in the past but now it’s catching up. Any sporting event in India or rather any sporting guy in the country who wins a big event is now recognised,” added the Indian.

For the second time in three weeks, the region’s elite players will return to India for the Panasonic Open (India), which is the newest US$300,000 event on the Asian Tour Schedule where it will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) from April 6 to 9 (Wednesday to Saturday).

Randhawa is expected to spearhead the local challenge as he is regarded as one of Asia’s most decorated players with eight Asian Tour wins to his illustrious career.

Randhawa’s last victory on the Asian Tour came in 2009 at the Thailand Open and he hopes that the wait for another victory will end at the Delhi Golf Club, a venue which he has triumphed on many occasions before.

“I’ve a good record at the Delhi Golf Club and if I can build on my record here this week, it’ll be great,” said Randhawa.

Married to prominent Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh, the limelight has also never shone far away from Randhawa.

While he is disappointed to have lost his European Tour card this season, Randhawa knows that he will be back at the top of his game soon.

“Golf’s a funny game. Sometimes you keep winning and sometimes it goes the other way. But I’m at it and I’m trying to get my act together and hopefully win something. I’m feeling better about my golf swing and I hope to capitalise on that,” said Randhawa.

Meanwhile Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who last victory came in 2002 at the Taiwan Open, hopes to end his nine-year title drought.

“I haven’t been playing much tournaments lately and I’ve been making several swing changes. But I feel that it’s all coming together. Everything looks very positive for me now,” said Chia.

The Malaysian is buoyed with confidence after enjoying a memorable season last year where he enjoyed two top-10s and was also the first Malaysian to play in all four rounds at the British Open at St. Andrews.

Having played at the Delhi Golf Club on numerous occasions, Chia believes that accuracy will be key in deciding the winner at the inaugural Panasonic Open (India)

“There’s only one thing here which you’ve got to do and that is to hit the fairways and the rest will take care of itself. The greens are also very tricky here so whoever can manage the greens will emerge as the winner,” said Chia.

Emerging young talent Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand who earned his Asian Tour card through Qualifying School earlier in the year, is also eager to show that he can match up against the best despite being only 18 years old. 

“This week’s a good opportunity to access how good I’m at my game as there are many good players competing. I hope to play well and make a good living on the Asian Tour,” said the young Thai.

Panasonic, the worldwide leader of electronic product manufacturers, has committed to the title sponsorship in India as an extension of the brand’s involvement with professional golf in Asia as it also hosts the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan, a tournament jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.

The top three players of the Panasonic Open (India) will be invited to play in Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, scheduled from September 22 to 25 at Biwako Country Club in Shiga Prefecture.

The Panasonic Open (India) will be beamed to over 40 countries and 440 million homes throughout four days of highlights on the Asian Tour television platform.

Photo - Asian Tour 

Asian Tour  

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