Jyoti Randhawa, the Asian Tour's number one in 2002, and one of India's 'Big Three' in professional golf, believes the future of golf in India is bright with compatriot Anirban Lahiri being among the shining stars.
The eight-time Asian Tour winner Randhawa, who shot a three-under 68 in the first round to be five behind the leader at the Omega European Masters, is convinced that Lahiri, 15 years his junior, will be among the next generation of golfers to put the spotlight on India.
Randhawa mixed four birdies against one bogey to post an opening three-under 68 here. Lahiri shot a bogey free five-under 66 and is due to start later in the evening today in second round. The two-time Asian Tour winner had finished tied-31st at the British Open last month.
SSP Chowrasia shot even par 71 in first round, while Gaganjeet Bhullar carded one-over 72. Shiv Kapur shot two-over 73, while Chiragh Kumar (77) and Digvijay Singh (78) faced a tough task in second round.
Randhawa, talking about Lahiri, said, "He's a great talent and he's playing really well. He's also a focused individual and I know he'll go far in life."
The first round leader was Gregory Bourdy (63) of France while Frederik Andersson Hed and Oliver Fisher shot 65 each. Lahiri (66) was tied fourth alongwith four others.
Randhawa, talking about his own game said, "I haven't been playing for two, three months now and I've been taking it easy and relaxing at home. So coming here and performing like this, I'm really happy," said Randhawa, whose last victory was the 2009 Thailand Open.
"This is Europe. You have to expect rain and you have to expect these kind of conditions," he said. India holds the distinction of having the most Asian Tour Order of Merit winners.