Jeev leads with sizzling first round in Austrian Open golf

June 7th, 2008 - 1:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 7 (IANS) India’s Jeev Milkha Singh was knocking the door of victory with a sizzling first round at the Bank Austria Golf Open at the beautiful par-71 Fontana Golf Club on the outskirts of Vienna. Jeev, who has time and again been among the early leaders in the tournament, shot a seven-under 64 to take a share of the six-way lead here Friday.

Six birdies on the last 10 holes, including four in a row from ninth to 12th, saw Jeev card a seven-under 64. Things were not so great for India’s other challenger Jyoti Randhawa, who shot who went four-over 75 and was lying way back in 114th place needing a solid second round to make the cut.

“I have been playing well and I have been knocking on the door and it has got to open sometime,” said Jeev, who shared the first round lead with local Austrian Martin Wiegele, Australia’s Scott Barr, the Swedish duo of Pelle Edberg and Christian Nilsson and Ireland’s Gary Murphy.

“I managed myself pretty well on the golf course and holed quite a few putts on back nine for the 65 and I am very happy. The golf course is in excellent condition and I drove the ball well,” he added.

Speaking on the inclement weather and his superb birdie on the 18th, Jeev said: “When the going is good, you adjust well and that’s the way it was. I had a three-wood from about 230 yards with the wind was in the face and rain, too. I got on in two and two-putted for a birdie.”

It has been the third time in last four weeks in Europe that Jeev has had a brilliant start. He opened with a 66 in Irish Open before dropping to 40th and then had a 65 at Celtic Manor Wales Open last week where he finished tied 10th.

Jeev, the 2006 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit winner, had birdies on fifth, sixth, ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th and 18th and his lone blemish for the day was a bogey on seventh.

The event has been cut down to 36 holes due to the loss of the entire first day’s play on Thursday, coupled with a poor weekend weather forecast that could yet see Fontana golf club hit by further lightning storms and heavy rain.

With Austria co-hosting Euro 2008 along with neighbours Switzerland over the next month, there has been a football theme running throughout the country, which has reached the fairways of Fontana.

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