Bhullar, Randhawa tee up as Westwood defends Indonesian title

Updated: Apr 18, 2012, 19:59 PM IST

Jakarta: Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won his maiden Asian Tour title in Indonesia three years ago, will look to revive the happy memories as he tees up at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by PNTS starting on Thursday.

Bhullar, who turns 24 next week, with Jyoti Randhawa are part of the strong Indian challenge at the USD 750,000 event, which boasts of a stellar field including World No 3 and defending champion, Lee Westwood.

Last week, Randhawa finished tied 11th in the Maybank Malaysian Open and is looking forward to building on that fine performance.

Other Indians in the field include Shiv Kapur, Himmat Rai, Anirban Lahiri, Sujjan Singh, Vikrant Chopra, Ashok Kumar, Rashid Khan and Chiragh Kumar.

Westwood`s victory last year pushed him back to the world number one position albeit for a brief time and he hopes to repeat his winning performance at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Westwood, who finished tied third at the Masters two weeks ago and has three other top-five finishes in the United States and Dubai, believes he will be in for a tough title defence.

"It is always special to come back here. It is nice to come back and try to defend but I don`t think it will be easy. It is tough to win one and it is even tougher to defend," said Westwood, who won four titles last year.

"I mastered the course last year and had the game plan right. All the players playing here wouldn`t be in this tournament if they weren`t capable of winning. No matter where you play in the world now it is difficult to win," he added.

Three-time Asian Tour number one, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will also feature in the Indonesian Masters with a total of 40 Asian Tour winners.

Thongchai will have to battle fatigue in hopes of going one spot higher than his second place finish last year.

"I had a bit of headache earlier this morning and I think it is because of the weather. I`m feeling quite tired from the heat so I`ll need to get a lot of rest tonight and hopefully be ready for the first round," said Thongchai, who has a record of 13 Asian Tour titles.

Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion and holder of 28 titles in Europe, hopes to roll back the years and overcome the challenging course.