Randhawa comes from behind to win BILT Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/j/jyotirandhawa_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Jyoti Randhawa blasted a sensational final round of eight-under 64 to pip Jeev Milkha Singh and overnight leader Anirban Lahiri and clinch BILT Open title.

Updated: December 28, 2008 14:26 IST
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Greater Noida:

Jyoti Randhawa blasted a sensational final round of eight-under 64 to pip Jeev Milkha Singh and overnight leader Anirban Lahiri and clinch the Rs 80 lakh BILT Open title on Sunday.

The Delhi golfer made a dramatic comeback on the edge-of-the-seat final day to break clear off the pack and total 19-under 269 to win by one stroke over Jeev (67) and Lahiri (71) and pocket a prize money of Rs 12,93,200.

Riding on good approach shots and accurate putting, Randhawa clocked a flurry of birdies, starting with a hat-trick from the second to fourth holes before picking up more shots on the seventh and eighth to take the turn at five-under.

While the front nine was a smooth sail, his back nine was not too bad either. He was off the block with birdies on the 10th and 12th before he stumbled on the 13th, dropping a bogey there. However, Randhawa fired an eagle on the 15th to total 19-under and maintained the lead as he parred the rest. "It was the 20-footer 15th hole eagle which was the turning point of the day," Randhawa said later.

Randhawa had some anxious moment at the last hole when his tee shot landed on the edge of the hedges but the experienced campaigner chipped it away and then took an accurate approach shot before sinking a 12-footer to par the last hole.

"I am very happy. It was a great win. Since yesterday things started coming together for me. It was since last two days that I gave myself a chance and decided to go for it," Randhawa added.

"I putted like a demon and the holes looked like buckets to me today," he said while explaining his day's performance. "I feel Indian conditions suits me and I am happy to win here but to tell the truth the feeling has not yet registered in my mind," said Randhawa, who won his fifth PGTI event with this tournament.

Jeev also had a good day in the greens despite missing some close birdie chances just by inches. The Asian number one played some immaculate drives and bunker play to close in the gap with Lahiri.

Playing his front nine first, Jeev reeled off a birdie hat-trick from third to fifth holes before dropping a bogey on the sixth to take the turn at two-under.

On resumption, he gained a shot each on the 10th, 15th and 16th holes to turn 18-under and had it not been for his seven-foot birdie putt miss in the final hole, he could well have forced a playoff with Jyoti.

"I was confident of putting the seven-foot birdie in the 18th hole. I took my time but could not manage at the end," said Jeev, who participated in a PGTI event for the first time.

"I played rock solid this week. Right from the tee to the greens, I have been playing really well all through the week. I had some number in the mind for the final round but I felt short of that. But over all I am happy with my performance," he added.

While his senior pros set the green alight, things went haywire for 21-year-old Lahiri who just could not match up with their experience.

The Bangalorean bogeyed the third, picked up a shot at the fifth but conceded a double bogey on the eighth before making amends with an eagle on the ninth.

His backward journey was equally roller-coaster as he gained a shot on the 15th but dropped one on the next. A birdie at the last hole meant he finished alongside Jeev at the second position.

"I have been getting this top five, top 10 finishes but just could not get that knock-out punch at the end and I hope I can learn from my mistakes here and do well in the next tournaments," Lahiri said.

"It was a pleasure and a learning experience for me to play alongside Jeev and Jyoti," Lahiri said.

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