DUBAI:High on confidence after his commendable tied seventh finish in the Qatar Masters, the country's top ranked golfer Jyoti Randhawa will tee off in the Dubai Desert Classic on Thursday hoping to continue the momentum.
The lanky golfer, who rose to 84th in the world rankings after his Doha exploits, has been paired with Richard Green and Thongchai Jaidee for the first round.
Compatriot Jeev Milkha Singh, who lost the highest-ranked-Indian tag to Randhawa, will have Charl Schwartzel and Bradley Dredge for company in Thursday's opening round.
Delhi lad Shiv Kapur, third Indian in the fray, will tee off alongside Johan Edfors and Jose-Filip Lima at the Emirates Golf Club.
Meanwhile, despite Tiger Woods looking in ominous form, which the American underlined with his triumph at Buick Invitational this weekend, defending champion Henrik Stenson, is unfazed.
Stenson, partnering Colin Montgomerie, in fact got off to a perfect start by winning the charity Challenge Match, with a seven-under par total, one better than Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. Darren Clarke and Woods finished third on five under.
Woods, on his part, will be gunning for his second Dubai Desert Classic title, riding on his red hot form that saw him win six times in his last seven competitive appearances.
Stenson, now a full-time resident here, still oozes confidence of repeating his last year's performance where the Swede staved off challenge from Woods and Ernie Els en route to a memorable win.