Jeev tied 16th as four Indians make cut in Asian Open

April 25th, 2008 - 7:41 pm ICT by admin  

Shanghai, April 25 (IANS) A nightmarish front nine with four bogeys in the first eight holes saw Jeev Milkha Singh (76) plummet from overnight second to tied 16th at the midway stage of the BMW Asian Open golf as four Indians made the cut here Friday. Jeev, now even par for two rounds at 144, is five shots behind co-leaders Zhang Lianwei (69) and Robert-Jan Derksen (69) of the Netherlands.

Zhang lifted Chinese hopes of a first home winner at the Asian Open after a sensational birdie at the last hole that propelled him into the joint halfway lead.

The 42-year-old Zhang holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club to match the Dutchman’s three-under-par 69 and a two-day total of five-under-par 139.

S.S.P. Chowrasia (73) in tied 29th at one-over 145, Digvijay Singh (72) and Shiv Kapur (75) at two-over 146 in tied 39th spot were the other Indians to make the cut, while Rahil Gangjee (75), Gaurav Ghei (74) and Jyoti Randhawa (74) all missed the cut by one shot.

Gangjee, Ghei and Randhawa totaled four-over 148 as the cut came at 147. Also missing the cut was Amandeep Johl (74) at eight-over 152.

Gusting winds swept across the demanding Thomson course throughout the day, so sub-70 scores were highly creditable on day two of the $2.3 million event.

Jeev, the Asian Tour No. 1 in 2006, bogeyed the first, fourth, fifth and eight before a birdie on ninth saw him turn in three-over 39. On the back nine, he again bogeyed the 11th and 14th and birdied the 18th to finish on 76.

Chowrasia, winner of the Indian Masters in February, parred the first five holes and then double bogeyed the sixth. He then birdied the seventh and again gave back the shot on eighth. On the back nine, he bogeyed the 11th and 18th and birdied the 12th, 16th and 17th.

Kapur had three birdies and six bogeys in his 75, while Ghei dropped two bogeys on 16th and 17th and missed the cut by one. Randhawa bogeyed the 16th and missed the cut.

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke carded a 69 to lay one off the pace while overnight leader Peter O’Malley of Australia scrambled to a 74 for a 141 and was tied with England’s Miles Tunnicliff, who shot a 70.

Asian Tour number one Liang Wen-chong and amateur Hu Mu provided more cheer for the local fans by tying for sixth place, three off the lead, alongside Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang, two-time Major winner Retief Goosen, New Zealand’s Mark Brown and England’s Oliver Wilson.

Clarke, who has lamented poor putting all season, showed improved form on the greens and took 29 putts for a second successive day to stay in the title hunt.

Australian legend Greg Norman carded a 73 to lie in tied 16th place, five shots behind the leaders. A total of 66 players have progressed into the weekend rounds.

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