Jeev tied second at BMW Asian Open (LEAD)

April 24th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

Shanghai, April 24 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh continued his great form opening his BMW Asian Open campaign with a four-under 68 for a share of the second place after the first round at the Tomson Shanghai Pudong Golf Club Thursday. Jeev looking for his first win in over 16 months had five birdies against a lone dropped shot. The Indian ace, runner-up twice this year besides being tied 25th at the Augusta Masters, putted like a dream, but was dissatisfied with his hitting. Sharing the lead after the morning session, Jeev and three others at four-under were overtaken by Australian veteran Peter O’Malley (67) in the afternoon. Malley shot five-under 67 with six birdies and one bogey.

“I didn’t hit the ball well today, but my putting was excellent. I was off golf last week and my lack of practice showed up today. However, I would prefer good putting any day to ball striking,” said Jeev.

Of the other seven Indians in the fray, Shiv Kapur lay tied 14th in the company of the legendary Greg Norman, Darren Clarke and Liang Wen-Chong, the Asia No. 1 in 2007.

S.S.P. Chowrasia, winner of the Emaar-MGF Indian Masters, looked set for a good position at three-under after 14 holes, but three bogeys over the last four holes left him at an even par 72 and tied 35th. Rahil Gangjee (73) was tied 51st.

Digvijay Singh and Gaurav Ghei carded two-over 74 each to be tied 71st, while Jyoti Randhawa had an uncharacteristic off-day with a 75 in 97th place and Amandeep Johl struggled to a 78.

Jeev, the 2006 Asian Tour number one, needed only 23 putts to share the early honours with Henrik Stenson of Sweden, England’s Oliver Wilson and Mikko Ilonen of Finland, before O’Malley overtook them.

Jeev said he needed to adjust quickly to the speed of the greens at the par-72, 7,326 yard Tomson course. “Yesterday, I putted a lot as I was trying to get the speed in my hands. I felt the greens were slow compared to Augusta,” he said.

A refreshed O’Malley, searching for a first victory in three years, sank six birdies against a lone bogey for a five-under-par 67, one clear of Jeev, Stenson, Ilonen and Wilson.

The 53-year-old Norman, who has scaled down his playing schedule to focus on his thriving global business which includes golf course designs, apparels and wine, swapped three birdies against two bogeys and lamented poor concentration for the dropped shots.

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