Pro golfer Jyoti Randhawa arrested for poaching on Indian tiger preserve
Golf Culture

Pro golfer Jyoti Randhawa arrested for poaching on Indian tiger preserve



Indian pro golfer Jyoti Randhawa was arrested Wednesday in his native country on suspicion of poaching.

Randhawa was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in the Motipur range of Katarniaghat, a protected area which is part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

How Randhawa was found out

The authorities had been tracking Randhawa, 46, for several days because of his movements in the preserve. They were tipped by locals who suspected the reasons for the moves about the preserve.

Randhawa's father owns a farmhouse in Motipur, per the Times of India. Randhawa owns the farm now.

Authorities arrested Randhawa after he killed a bird in the jungle. He was questioned about an animal skin in his vehicle. Randhawa claimed it was from a wild boar, however, it was from a sambhar deer, a protected animal. Authorities also removed a .22 caliber gun registered to Randhawa, a laser rangefinder and binoculars from Randhawa's Isuzu SUV.

Randhawa's caddie, Mahesh Virjdar, was also on the expedition and arrested. Virjdar was reportedly court-martialed in 2014 from the Indian navy.

Randhawa's career highlights

Randhawa's Asian Tour card and Delhi Golf Club membership card were recovered by authorities.

Randhawa has eight Asian Tour wins, with his last coming at the 2009 Singha Thailand Open. His last professional win of any significance came in the 2012 PGA Tour of India Players Championship. He last competed in a major at the 2008 PGA Championship, missing the cut.

Currently ranked No. 1076 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Randhawa was in the top 100 of the world multiple times from 2004-2009, including a year-end career high of 84th in 2005.

Randhawa is the former husband of Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh, who has also been known for her international hunts. The couple were married from 2001-2014, and they have a child together, Zorawar.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com