Digvijay rises to fifth, Jeev ninth in BMW golf

April 26th, 2008 - 7:19 pm ICT by admin  

Shanghai, April 26 (IANS) Digvijay Singh took a big stride Saturday, moving up from 39th to fifth, while Jeev Milkha Singh made amends entering the top-10 at ninth place as the BMW Asian Open headed for an exciting finish here after the third day. The leader was Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke who slipped into the driver’s seat after a sparkling five-under-par 67 gave him a one-shot lead.

Digvijay’s flawless 67 helped him zoom up to tied fifth, up from overnight 29th. He had five birdies and no bogeys and hit a purple patch in the middle of his round with three birdies in four holes between seventh and tenth. He also had birdies on 13th and 17th. At three-under 213, he is four shots behind leader Clarke.

Jeev opened in style with two straight birdies on the first two holes, but then failed to find any more and parred the remaining 16 to finish the day at two-under 70, which helped him move up from tied 16th to ninth at the end of the third day of the BMW Asian Open Saturday.

Of the other Indians, S.S.P. Chowrasia (72) was tied 32nd and Shiv Kapur (75) slipped to 52nd from 39th.

Digvijay, who has the best upward move among Indians, said: “There was no wind in the morning and we were lucky. No complaints at all with my game and my putter worked really well for my birdies. I’ve got a new driver in the bag this week and it’s really helping me. I’m not missing many fairways which is what that matters here.”

“I’ve kept my card all ready for next year which I’m very happy about, I’m just letting my game flow. I’m not holding anything back.”

Jeev, the Asian Tour No. 1 is now two-under 214 for three days, but seven shots behind.

Clarke fired five birdies against no bogeys at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club to edge ahead of overnight co-leader Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands, who returned a 69.

Jeev struggled with his putting on the greens despite 15 greens in regulation. “I was hitting the ball like a dream, but just couldn’t get the putts in. I started with two birdies and then it ran dry,” said the Indian, who won four times in 2006, but has since then failed to land any titles. He has been second twice this year and was tied 25th at the Augusta Masters earlier this month.

“I had one of my best days with hitting, but the putter just did not work,” said Jeev. “Still I am going to stick to the process and things are bound to happen.”

Little-known Englishman Robert Dinwiddie produced the day’s best of 66 to charge into third place, two off the lead while Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang was a further stroke back after a battling 69 in the US$2.3 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and China Golf Association.

An eagle on the par four 17th earned Chinese teenage amateur Hu Mu the honour as the best placed local player in a share of fifth place following a 71.

Joint overnight leader Zhang Lian-wei endured a difficult 76 while Liang Wen-chong settled for a 73 as both players ended the day in a share of 15th place.

Clarke, who is making his maiden visit to China, was in his elements as he rolled in birdies on the second, sixth, 10th, 15th and 18th holes to take pole position with his three-day total of nine-under-par 207.

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