Randhawa on the right track

Indian star Jyoti Randhawa believes he is on track to returning to winning ways after coming close at the US$2.5 million Maybank Malaysian Open over the weekend.

Golf News: Jyoti Randhawa.

Randhawa, India's first Asian Tour number one when he claimed the coveted Order of Merit crown in 2002, stayed in the title hunt at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club before two errors on the back nine saw him settle for tied 11th place alongside countryman Jeev Milkha Singh and South Africa's Jbe Kruger on Sunday.

He picked up US$40,850 for his efforts which pushed him up to 24th place on the Merit list, which Kruger continues to lead with US$437,519.

"All in all, I'm feeling good. I just need to give it a little bit more time. I guess I'm on the right track. After this week, I'm feeling even more confident. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year," said Randhawa.

As he approaches his 40th birthday next month, Randhawa knows he faces a tough challenge in his hope to win a ninth career Asian Tour victory with many emerging young stars making a name for themselves across the region.

The Indian, who enjoys skydiving, shooting and adventure sports outside the ropes, found inspiration in brother-in-law Digvijay Singh's first win on Tour at the Panasonic Open India last month. Singh is also 40.

"That was a big thing. After so many years, you see guys plugging away and winning and it gives me inspiration to keep at it. Things will turn around and I'm waiting for it," said Randhawa, whose last victory was the 2009 Thailand Open.

"It has been a while since I came into a competition under stress (pressure). I hope I can hang in there and not do the bad swings in future. I feel very nice that it is all coming together. I just had two bad swings so I'm feeling positive."

The Asian Tour heads to Jakarta this week for the US$750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by PNTS where England's world number three Lee Westwood is defending his title.

Randhawa is hoping to put up another strong challenge at Royale Jakarta Golf Club. "It is a great golf course. I think it is a ball-strikers' course and the greens are fast. You've got to hit the ball long so I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Another player who is over the moon is American rookie David Lipsky.

Since winning the Qualifying School in Thailand in January, the 23-year-old has been on a roll, winning the inaugural HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic last month and then following up with a tied second finish at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic two weeks ago.

He then fought his way to joint third place in the star-studded Maybank Malaysian Open, which earned him US$129,166 and increased his season's haul to US$202,696. Lipsky is second on the rankings behind Kruger.

"I can't believe where I'm at right now. I'm so happy. Hard work has paid off," said the Korean-American, who graduated from the Northwestern University in Chicago.

"I'm playing how I believe I can play. I'm proud with how I handled myself, especially with the crowds as I've never been in an event like this. It was real fun."

ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT - TOP-20
Pos Player Earnings (US$)
1. Jbe KRUGER (RSA) $437,519
2. David LIPSKY (USA) $202,696
3. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) $133,561
4. Scott HEND (AUS) $132,909
5. Marcus FRASER (AUS) $109,380
6. Ben FOX (USA) $85,623
7. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $84,227
8. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) $81,959
9. SIDDIKUR (BAN) $80,641
10. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) $73,488
11. MO Joong-kyung (KOR) $70,832
12. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) $68,752
13. Scott BARR (AUS) $64,328
14. Kieran PRATT (AUS) $60,751
15. Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) $55,111
16. Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) $54,777
17. Mithun PERERA (SRI) $53,365
18. Marcus BOTH (AUS) $50,510
19. Digvijay SINGH (IND) $50,040
20. Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) $47,923



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