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Jyoti Randhawa backs Asia for Dynasty Cup

Fired-up Jyoti Randhawa of India has thrown down the gauntlet to the star-studded Japan team ahead of the showdown with Asia in the Visa Dynasty Cup from April 15-17.

Randhawa won all his matches when Asia triumphed by nine points over Japan at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China two years ago and he is confident of a successful trophy defence.

Japan have called up their big guns, including 'Smilin' Assassin' Shigeki Maruyama, for the shootout at Mission Hills' World Cup course but Randhawa said that Asia had nothing to fear.

"Last time they thought they could beat us with two or three of their good players missing but this time Japan know they need to do much more than that (to win)," said Randhawa, who has played regularly on the Japan Tour over the past two seasons.

"Seeing them and seeing Asian Tour players (in action) I think we can definitely beat them again. The best of Asia, I think, are a notch over Japan."

Randhawa is currently hanging onto the last automatic spot in captain Hsieh Min-nan's 12-player line-up and he is looking forward to another crack at Japan.

"We thrashed them properly last time," said Randhawa, a former Asian number one who has one victory in Japan to his credit. "Probably they will be more prepared and more aware of me right now - last time they did not know how good or bad I was and I guess they did take it a little bit easy thinking that I am one of the players who could be taken for granted or beaten easily.

"Now they know I have multiple wins in Japan and outside and they will be more careful and start giving their best. It should be a great contest."

Maruyama, a three-time winner on the US PGA Tour, has promised Japanese fans that the so-called 'Dream Team; will deliver a victory this time but Randhawa warned that Asia were proud of their success in 2003 and would not surrender the Visa Dynasty Cup easily.

"It is a great tournament - I think there is more pressure at that tournament than any other strokeplay event as there is (Asian) pride at stake," he said. "Winning all my matches last time gave me great pride. I've been talking to the other (Asian) players and we want to experience that winning feeling again."

The Asian team will be confirmed after the Myanmar Open from February 24-27, with Hsieh adding four captain's picks to the eight top placed players in the Visa Dynasty Cup ranking.

Last season's Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand heads the ranking with countrymen Boonchu Ruangkit, Thaworn Wiratchant and Prayad Marksaeng near certainties to feature in Hsieh's team.

Korean duo Charlie Wi, now playing on the US PGA Tour, and Mo Joong-kyung along with Singapore's Mardan Mamat are ranked fourth, fifth and seventh respectively. Wi formed a successful pairing with Randhawa at the first Dynasty Cup.

As well as Maruyama, the Japan team includes Toshimitsu Izawa, who partnered the US-based star to victory in the 2002 World Cup, and last year's Japan Tour Order of Merit winner Shingo Katayama.


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