Randhawa, Gangjee spearhead Indian challenge in Phuket

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/j/jyotirandhawa_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Jyoti Randhawa and Rahil Gangjee will lead the Indian challenge as the contingent prepare to tee off at the USD 500,000 Singha Thailand Open on Thursday.

Updated: March 04, 2009 10:09 IST
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Ace Indian golfer Jyoti Randhawa took a brief holiday, while struggling compatriot Rahil Gangjee turned to a sports psychologist as a 13-strong Indian contingent prepared to tee off at the USD 500,000 Singha Thailand Open here on Thursday.

Randhawa said he was hoping that a relaxed attitude will lead him to an eighth Asian Tour victory.

"I'm taking this week as an easy week. Yesterday, I hired a boat and along with Digvijay Singh and our families, we went out to Phi Phi Island and dived all day. Hopefully by being this relaxed, it will help with the golf. When you're playing well, it helps to be mentally fresh," said Randhawa, who has posted a second and seventh place finish this season.

The Indian challenge also includes Asian Tour regulars like SSP Chowrasia, Shiv Kapur, Gaurav Ghei, Digvijay Singh, Amandeep Johl and Rahil Gangjee.

Two-time US PGA Tour winner Daniel Chopra is also in the fray.

"The course is great, it's very tricky. There are some good holes and a few tight holes. You can shoot a good number but you have to really be on top of your game. The greens are really nice, I'm impressed by the greens," said Randhawa.

After losing his full Tour card and missing out on the Qualifying School earlier this year, Rahil Gangjee said he is on a mission to regain his form.

Gangjee, who had his career's first victory in 2004 at the Volkswagen Masters in China, said he had worked hard and consulted a psychologist for the first time in his career.

"It is frustrating to miss the big events," said Gangjee, whose lone tournament this year was the season-opening Asian Tour International in Bangkok where he finished seventh.

"I didn't watch any of the golf on TV over the past few weeks. It gets to me knowing that I should be there. From having full status on Tour to no status, it's a big jump but the good thing is that I'm playing well and I'm feeling confident.

"Since working with the sports psychologist, I've had several top-fives in India and also the seventh place at the Asian Tour International. I feel I'm playing better than last year," he added.

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