New Delhi:The gloomy weather mirrored Jyoti Randhawa's mood and second round at the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters on Friday.
How fickle golf and form can be was never more evident than Friday, when overnight leader Randhawa could get things little right and ended with one of his worst ever rounds at his home course, the Delhi Golf Club with a five-over 77.
That saw Randhawa drop down the ladder so swiftly that he was barely under par at two-under 142.
Randhawa, never one to mince words and go easy on himself, said: "It was a disastrous round. I started with a bogey and nothing went right and somewhere in the middle I seemed to have lost focus."
Yet, the man who with five titles on this course - four of them in Asian Tour events - was strong enough to say: "But still under par and going into the weekend, I still have a chance."
That he does. For in the past, he has always roared back into action over the weekend. He does not have to go too far back to revive those memories. At the Hero Honda Indian Open last October, he was 22nd after the first round, but came back to tied eighth before the weekend and by the time he finished on Saturday, he was tied for the lead and then went onto to win by three shots.
Randhawa, who 10 years ago achieved his breakthrough win at this course at the Hero Honda Masters in 1998, started with a bogey on the tenth. He missed the fairway and paid the penalty. He was scratchy after that but hung in with pars before finding his second bogey on the 16th and with no bogeys over the back stretch of the course, he was two-over.
The second nine began as badly when he went into the left bushes and dropped a shot on the par-five first hole. A birdie on the second was a like balm, but not for long. Three pars later, coming to the sixth, he drove into the left bushes and was unable to find the ball. He went back to the tee for his third shot and then found a bunker with his fourth shot. He got his shot from bunker onto the green, but left it rather shot, from where he two-putted for a triple bogey, seven.
On the very next hole, he three-putted for yet another bogey and suddenly he was six-over, before a birdie on eighth stemmed the rot. A par on the ninth and he was quickly off. First to mull over the gloomy day, and then to practice greens.
Tomorrow is another day, and no one will hope for that more than Randhawa.