Randhawa back in contention at Malaysian OpenMarch 7th, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by admin
Kuala Lumpur, March 7 (IANS) Jyoti Randhawa was lying third as he went on a birdie spree with four in a row on the back nine before darkness stopped play on Friday at the $2 million Maybank Malaysian Open golf. He still had two more holes to play in second round. Randhawa, who is on a hot streak of three top-10 finishes in last three starts was six-under through 16 holes and was 11-under for 34 holes in the tournament. Randhawa, who was penalised two shots Thursday for taking a wrong drop on third hole in first round, had still shot a 67. Randhawa had a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th when play was called off due to darkness.
Randhawa was one shot behind local hero Danny Chia, who shot a five-under 67 with a birdie-birdie finish to share the clubhouse lead. Chia was sharing the lead with overnight leader Nick Dougherty of England, who completed his round of 70 in near darkness.
A two-hour suspension due to a storm meant 49 players were yet to complete their second round.
Winner of the 2004 Volvo Masters at this course, Randhawa is pushing hard to improve on his 72nd position in the world ranking and break into the top-50.
He said he was delighted to stay in the title hunt for the third week in a row. “Definitely, especially after what happened yesterday,” said the 2002 Asian Tour number one. “I played well but got penalised for taking the wrong drop yesterday. I didn’t know I had to take complete relief from the cart path. But I like where I am now and let’s see what I can do.”
Randhawa, whose only blemish has been the bogey on third in first round - because of a penalty for wrong drop - had birdies on first and fourth and then four in a row from 10th to 13th.
Arjun Atwal shots 68 to add to his two-under 70 on first day to be six-under 138, the same as Gaurav Ghei (71). Ghei was five-under 67 on first day. They were tied 29th.
S.S.P. Chowrasia, who was in the top-10 with a 66 in first round looked like going in for another fine round as he made three-under through 12 holes. But then he found a bogey on 15th followed by a triple on par-4 16th. He finished with a 73 and was five-under 139 in tied 41st, the same as Kiwi Mark Brown (73), back-to-back winner last two weeks. He had two doubles, on ninth and 18th.
Jeev Milkha Singh (71) at three-under 141 was tied 70th, while Rahil Gangjee (72) was two-under 142 in 90th, Shiv Kapur (69) was one-under 143 in 99th, and Amandeep Johl (one-over through 15) was five-over.
The cut looks likely at either four-under or three-under.
No Malaysian has won the national championship since its inauguration in 1962 but Chia, the 35-year-old Asian Tour regular, kept his dream alive with six birdies against a lone bogey at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.
A stroke back was Dane Soren Kjeldsen, who fired a 68 in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour while title holder Peter Hedblom of Sweden and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, who also carded 68s, were a further shot adrift.
Dougherty, who fired a sizzling 62 on the opening day, birdied his last hole in the dark to maintain his chase for a third career title. The 25-year-old Englishman endured a frustrating day on the greens, although a last birdie on 18 put a smile on his face.
Tags: arjun atwal, asian tour, birdie birdie, birdies, blemish, bogey, cart path, contention, danny chia, foot birdie putt, hot streak, jyoti randhawa, kuala lumpur, local hero, malaysian open golf, nick dougherty, third hole, title hunt, two shots, volvo masters