Another good start for Jeev at Scottish Open golf

July 11th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Loch Lomond (Scotland), July 11 (IANS) India’s Jeev Milkha Singh opened with a card of three-under 68 in the opening round of The Barclays Scottish Open golf tournament at Loch Lomond Golf Club here. But with many others, including his Asian Tour mate and leader, Thai Thongchai Jaidee (64) also going low, Jeev was only tied 19th, but just four off the lead after the opening round Thursday.

Jeev, for whom this is the last chance to qualify for the British Open next week, needs to be the highest non-exempt finisher in top-five to make the grade.

Jeev opened with two birdies in first three holes and then parred the rest of the front nine. A bogey on tenth was his only blemish, which he quickly made up with back-to-back birdies on 13th and 14th. The leader-board was tightly packed with 35 players within four shots of the lead.

He had a good day, with some tidy driving finding the fairway 11 of the 14 times and 13 greens in regulation, but he had just nine single putts and nine two-putts, many from birdie distances.

“I should have shot better, but the good thing is I am playing well,” said Jeev who has won once and finished second twice this season and is tenth in European Money List.

India’s other contenders had a modest day with Shiv Kapur shooting an even par 71 to be tied 77th and S.S.P. Chowrasia shot 72 to be tied 98th. Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra was five-over 76 with six bogeys and just one birdie and in tied 149th place.

Shiv opened with two birdies on back nine on 13th and 18th, but a double bogey on first and another bogey on fifth set him back, but he did close with a birdie on ninth. Chowrasia, also starting on tenth, had birdies on 13th and third, but dropped shots on first, fifth and seventh.

Though three of the world’s top six players are contesting the event, it was Thongchai, ranked 153rd in the world, and Alexander Noren (64) who share the lead.

Thongchai, twice a European Tour champion at the Malaysian Open in 2004 and 2005, began with a bogey on the second hole, but eight birdies later he held a seven under par clubhouse score of 64 and shared the lead with Noren.

Thingchai is playing with a prolapsed disc in his back and will fly home for treatment next week unless he qualifies for The Open Championship.

World No.2 Phil Mickelson carded three birdies and three bogeys in his even par 71. Ernie Els was one over par 72.

Sweden’s Pelle Edberg sunk a hole-in-one on the par three 17th to win the Barcalys Scottish Open Hole in One Prize, a new BMW X6, worth

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