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November 9, 2006

Jyoti Randhawa


CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have Jyoti Randhawa. Thank you very much for coming in, a 65 for the tournament lead. You must be thrilled with such a great start.

JYOTI RANDHAWA: Yeah, definitely, I played quite well today, and I guess my play is picking up and getting better after I won the Indian Open, which is about three weeks back. I had to do that a lot to win that Indian Open. I had a three way playoff and a lot of self control and a lot of anxiety control, so I learned a lot in that. Then I won a week after that, a domestic tournament in India, so yeah, I guess I'm in good form.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: What was the key to today's great round?

JYOTI RANDHAWA: I think I was quite relaxed. I was quite focused. My concentration was good. I think as I said, I learned that playing the last two weeks in India. I played the way the golf course should be played. I took my chances when I could and I played safe when I had to. So I made a few putts, which went my way, and I made a birdie putt and then I made a few long par putts coming in, 6 7 footers, which is quite good for my confidence.

Q. Must be quite special to be leading in a field like this week's?

RANDHAWA: Yeah, it's great to have gotten a good round in a field like this especially with Tiger Woods in the field. But I didn't think about it as I didn't want to upset my rhythm. They are great players and it's not over yet. This is just the first round and there are three more days to go. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing.

Q. Is this one of your best ever rounds?

JYOTI RANDHAWA: I think this is probably one of my better rounds of my career. It's a big tournament with big players and coming in and leading the tournament gives me great pleasure. It was a lot of effort to make a score like this. I'm happy with the way I played today.

Q. What does this event mean to you coming up towards the end of the year?

JYOTI RANDHAWA: For me it's one of the biggest events that I've played in my career. Whenever you play in a US$5 million event, it's huge. The fields at the British Opens or the WGC events are not far off from what we have here this week. Only a few Americans are missing but there are top-20 players in the world here. It almost feels like playing in a major. It's great.

Q. Do you feel Asians need to adjust to various conditions internationally?

The kind of greens you have here are different overseas. But I've played most of my golf this year in Europe and I've got used to conditions. To make chips and putts are quite different to Asia. A lot of the Asian Tour players are great players and they are good enough to win any where in the world. They just have to get used to playing different conditions. Once you get used to that, everything falls into place. I'm lucky I've had the opportunity to play in events like the WGC and I'm glad.

Q. Tell us about your love for biking?

RANDHAWA: That's something I can never give up. It's who I am and what I am. I love adventure sports and trap shooting and motorcycle riding are my passion. I'm not going to give those up. I had an accident in 2002 but I've gotten over that. Last week was a week off for me and I did a lot of biking which has rejuvenated me!

Q. Is golf an elitist sport in India?

It was the same five or six years back but now more middle class families and children play the game. It's not an elite sport any more. There are a lot of caddies who turned pros and a lot of middle class are now playing the game. That wasn't the case before.

Q. Great round, just interested about your thoughts on the standard of Indian golf. Jeev said we're on the verge of an Indian making a big break for it.

JYOTI RANDHAWA: Yeah, Indian golf has come of age in the last five or six years. There are a lot of good players coming out of there. Jeev was one of the pioneers to get out and play golf in the international circuit and we followed him.

You know, what's happening in golf in the last ten years is quite good. It's taken a big boom there. The Tour has grown, the players have become better. More and more players come out and play in America, and in the Asian Tour there used to be three or four players and now there are 15, 20 playing and that says a lot about it. A lot of guys like me and Jeev and Arjun Atwal are playing on the European and U.S. circuit and it's made a lot of impact on Indian golf. And also I think Tiger Woods has done a lot for golf, generally, globally, and that's helped a lot, too.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: JYOTI, thanks very much for coming in and all the best for tomorrow.

End of FastScripts.

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