Jeev stays on course at Singapore Open golf (Lead)

November 14th, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, Nov 14 (IANS) Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, looking to seal his second Asian Order of Merit title and moving closer to a top-50 in world rankings, took a step forward with a flawless 3-under 68 on a dramatic Friday at the Barclay’s Singapore Open golf championship.Jeev was one-under 141 on another day hit by rain and lightning which robbed three hours of play requiring 78 golfers to come back Saturday morning to complete their second round before the cut is applied. Jeev was tied 10th, five shots behind co-leaders Ernie Els (70) and Simon Dyson (67).

In the morning, Jeev completed his first round with a stunning eagle and then barely escaped disqualification for a rules infringement Thursday. Since he had neither finished the round nor submitted the card for first round he was penalised one shot for a 73 in the first.

“It was good that someone called that in, otherwise I would have been disqualified. The rule is when you mark the ball, you got to have it in your hand. Once you leave it, it’s in play. On the fourth hole on Thursday, I picked it up and placed it right back and that’s why I got a one shot penalty. One of the referees called in. I’m glad that happened, otherwise I won’t be playing now,” Jeev explained.

He was happy with his performance in the second round and said that key on the course will be patience.

Among others to have completed their second round, were 19-year-old Rory McIlroy (68) and Thai Chapchai Nirat (68) at four-under 138, while David Gleeson ((67) and seasoned Thomas Bjorn (67) at three-under 139 and Daniel Chopra (71), who had to wait for three hours to complete his final hole in the second round. Mitchell Brown (70) and Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama (68) were at two-under.

The only player in top-10 without having completed his second round was first round leader local pro Lam Chih Bing who was even par after six holes in second following a four-under 67 on first day.

The cut was likely to come at four-over with Shiv Kapur and S.S.P.Chowrasia, who had completed their second round likely to squeeze into the final rounds.

Jeev returned this morning to complete his first round with a stunning eagle as his second shot with a rescue club from 260 yards on the fairway on the par-5 18th hit the flag and stopped six feet from the cup.

But moments later he learnt about the rules infringement on the fourth hole. He was shown the footage and he agreed with the infringement and called a penalty and signed for a 73.

As Order of Merit leader Brown of New Zealand was certain to miss the cut after rounds of 74 and 77, Jeev is certain to close in on the gap of about $137,000, which separates him with the leader. If Jeev finishes seventh of higher, he will become the overtake Brown.

Jeev had three birdies on the 10th, the 18th and the fourth and no bogeys to come back strongly as he played with Brown and current co-leader Els.

Seven Indians had completed their second round, but six others will need to come back to do so Saturday morning.

Scores (only Indians): 141 Jeev Milkha Singh (73, 68); 142 Digvijay Singh (70, 72) 146 Shiv Kapur (72, 72); 146 S.S.P. Chowrasia (70, 76); 148 Himmat Rai (76, 72); 149 Amandeep Johl (74, 75)l; 152 Rahil Gangjee (79, 73)

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