Jeev stays in contention in Wales Open golf

June 1st, 2008 - 5:32 pm ICT by admin  

Newport (Wales), June 1 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh kept himself in the contention for his first title in 18 months despite numerous putts lipping out besides a late bogey in the crucial third round of the Celtic Manor Wales Open at the Twenty Ten Golf course here. He was tied third at four shots behind runaway leader Australian Scott Strange after the penultimate round here Saturday.

Former Asian Tour No. 1 Jeev, second overnight, dropped a late bogey on 16th to card a two-under 69 and was in a bunch at tied third, even as Strange overcame spells of dizziness to card a 69 and stay on top at 15-under 198.

Jeev, Raphael Jacquelin (68) and Robert Karlsson (68) were third at 11-under 202. Alvaro Velasco (68) was lying second in 12-under 201.

Jeev started with a birdie on the second, but he dropped that advantage on the fourth.

Back to back birdies on the fifth and sixth saw him get back in red numbers to turn in two-under. With a whole lot of good putts lipping out, Jeev had only pars to show for his work till the next birdie on 15th. But on the very next hole he dropped a bogey and then ended with two pars for a 69.

“I am playing really well and rolled some good putts, too. But it was one of those days when some things don’t happen,” said Jeev, who had a bogey on the 17th. “That was somewhat disappointing, and some putts also lipped out. But I am happy that I am playing well and I am still in the picture.”

On his game plan for the final round, Jeev said: “If I can get off to a good start, then I am very much there. I generally play aggressively and I will see after 11 or 12 holes where I am and then decide on whether I need to change anything.”

Jeev has finished second two times on the European Tour this year on the Indonesia Open and the Ballantines Open in Korea. Jeev is also a former winner of the Volvo Masters of Europe in 2006.

Strange, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, shrugged off a dizzy spell and carded four bogeys against two dropped shots for a three stroke advantage over Spain’s Velasco.

Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat endured a 73 in joint 58th spot while compatriot Thongchai Jaidee faced a slow third round after a 75 pushed him down to a tie for 67th place.

Leading the chasing pack is another man looking for his first European Tour victory, Spain’s Alvaro Velasco, who kept his hopes alive of that very eventuality with a fine third round 68 for a 12 under par total of 201, the highlight of which was a run of three birdies in a row from the ninth.

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