Jeev 27th after first round in Volvo MastersOctober 31st, 2008 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS
Valderrama (Spain), Oct 31 (IANS) Difficult windy conditions saw Jeev Milkha Singh mess up his back nine with three bogeys and a double bogey and ended with a three-over 74 on the first day of the Volvo Masters of Europe. That left him in tied 27th place, as Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark led the field with a six-under 65.Jeev, who won the event in 2006, had a birdie on the sixth on the front nine and turned in one-under, but then dropped bogeys on 11th, 13th and 15th and a double bogey on 16th before salvaging a consolation birdie on 18th.
Kjeldsen was three shots ahead of Sergio Garcia (68).
The Dane handled the difficult conditions well to shoot 65 in the event which has the top 60 players on the Order of Merit starting.
Four players Robert Karlsson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez are all still in the running for the Harry Vardon trophy.
Garcia, who won the Castello Masters last week on his home course, is a shot ahead of England’s David Lynn and Anthony wall.
On a day when birdies were proving difficult to come by Kjeldsen made eight of them thanks to some tremendous putting and pinpoint accuracy from the tee.
Despite only managing a 73 Karlsson is still looking good for the money list crown as Harrington, Westwood and Jimenez are not where they need to be.
The Swede’s round was slipping away from him when he drove into bushes on the long 11th, but the marshal risked cutting himself by crawling in to retrieve the ball.
“We could see five balls in there, but couldn’t identify them,” said Karlsson. “There were a lot of thorns and things, but he volunteered to go in and found it.”
It meant Karlsson did not have to go all the way back to the tee, and after salvaging a par on the hole he birdied the 15th and 18th for an inward 34.
Harrington, who requires a top two finish to have a chance of regaining the number one spot, managed only a 76 to be joint 43rd of the 57-strong field. Westwood and Jimenez, who have to win Sunday, finished the day tied for fifth and 16th respectively after returning 70 and 73.