Thursday, February 7, 2008

Golf News: Indian Masters Day 1 Wrap

Ernie Els shot a horror quadruple bogey to lag 10 behind leader Jyoti Randhawa at the inaugural Indian Masters on Thursday, with the local star eagling the last for a two shot lead.

Irishman Damien McGrane played two rounds with Tiger Woods at the Dubai Desert Classic last week and the world number one's magic clearly rubbed off as he fired a 67 to lie second, alongside Englishman Richard Finch.

Rejuvenated Dane Thomas Bjorn, Delhi resident Shiv Kapur, and Spain's Jose Mauel Lara lurk one further back at the 2.5 million dollars event, while US veteran Mark O'Meara rolled back the years with a 69.

Randhawa, who posted four top-10 finishes on the European Tour last year, used his local knowledge to good effect, putting together three birdies and two eagles.

But fellow Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, seen as a favourite to win, succumbed to the pressure with a poor 77.

Randhawa has won on the Lodhi course five times before and he thought back to those victories to tailor his game.

"My past performances helped a lot," he said.

"I've won a few times here before and I thought back to that and it helped. What I did before, I did again.

"As long as I can keep to the same things and handle the pressure this week, I'll be alright."

McGrane has never won a European Tour event but was boosted by playing with Woods, although he was reluctant to give credit to the world's best.

"I enjoyed playing with Tiger, he encouraged me all the way. It's nice to play with the world's top player and survive the experience," he said.

"But every week is a new beginning, a new start. It was all about making the birdies whenever possible today..."

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