Shah Alam: Jyoti Randhawa fired a five-under 67 to lie tied fourth at the end of the first round of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters on Wednesday.
Skydiving and driving a truck 3,000 miles across America and not touching a golf club for 25 days seems to have done Randhawa a world of good in his first round of golf in a month.
Rookie Joonas Granberg of Finland, a 24-year-old Qualifying School graduate, provided the fireworks with a new course record of 10-under-par 62 in the first round.
He holed out from the fairway for a spectacular eagle on his opening hole, the par four 10th to spark a magnificent round which included nine birdies and a bogey.
Randhawa, a former Asian Tour number one and a winner here in Kota Permai in 2004, was delighted to soar into contention and credited a sky-diving holiday in the United States during summer for his flying start.
"I`ve not touched a club for the past month and half. I`ve been sky-diving. I did some 50 jumps in America ... mind off golf and now mind on golf," said Randhawa.
"I think it works for me. When I won the Thailand Open two years ago, I remember I was scuba diving all week. I`m now a veteran, no longer the young guy. I know what to do and how to play the game. It`s all about the mind for me now. If I can get my mental framing right, I know exactly what to do. And when the mind tells the body, the body starts to behave," he said.
Ashok Kumar with six birdies and two bogeys in 68 is tied seventh, while Gaurav Ghei opening with an eagle in the first, Rashid Khan closing with a double bogey on 18th and Anirban Lahiri carded 69 each to be tied 15th.
Himmat with an eagle two on 11th was tied 27th at 70 and Gaganjeet Bhullar, Manav Jaini and Chiragh Kumar were all tied 46th at 71 each. Sujjan (72) was tied 65th while Vikrant Chopra (75) in tied 113th, Abhishek Jha (76), Vinod Kumar and Firoz Ali (77) were in danger of missing the cut.
The lowest 18-hole score on the Asian Tour this season, saw Gronberg open up a three-shot lead from South African Tjaart Van Der Walt, who returned a bogey-free 65 at the USD 400,000 tournament.
American Berry Henson, winner of the ICTSI Philippine Open, started strongly with a 66 while Randhawa, Korea’s Mo Joong-kyung and rising Thai star Pariya Junhasavasdikul fired 67s.