Jeev finishes tied 10th in Wales Open golf

June 2nd, 2008 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  


Newport (Wales), June 2 (IANS) Two late bogeys on the back nine saw Jeev Milkha Singh slip from a top-5 finish to end tied 10th at the Celtic Manor Wales Open golf tournament here. The former Asian No. 1, Jeev, shot an even par 71 in the final round Sunday to total 11-under 273. His earlier rounds were 65, 68 and 69.

Australia’s Scott Strange won the title with a total of 22-under 262 as he shot a brilliant seven-under 64 on the final day.

Jeev had a very sedate final round. He opened with a birdie on second and then got another at 11th. Till this stage, he was in running for a top-5 finish, but then a bogey on 12th and 16th put paid to those hopes.

“That was awfully disappointing,” said Jeev. “I played very well through the week, but a few lipped out putts cost dear.”

Jeev earned €39,324, which puts him at 16th place on the European Order of Merit.

Strange shrugged off illness to produce a truly sensational display to cruise to victory.

The 31-year-old from Perth, who suffered worrying dizzy spells on the course on Saturday, produced sublime golf which made light of both those facts. Having started the day with a three shot advantage, birdies at four of the first six holes put him on easy street and he did not drop a shot all day, eventually carding a final round 64 - not as good as his course record opening 63 - but good enough for a 22-under par total of 262.

He had a four shot victory over Robert Karlsson who produced an equally fine final round 64 but was still a distant second.

Strange’s stranglehold on the tournament was emphasised by the fact that, without Karlsson in the tournament, the Australian’s nearest challenger was Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin who finished third, eight shots adrift and five players who shared fourth an incredible nine shots behind.

The winner’s cheque for €376,671 (£300,000) moved Strange to ninth on The European Tour Order of Merit and, perhaps more importantly for the Tour rookie, gave him a priceless exemption until the end of the 2010 season.

Strange admitted he still intends to play in this week’s European Tour event in Austria but made the decision to withdraw from Monday’s US Open Qualifying at Walton Heath to allow him to savour his victory for a little longer.

Runner-up Karlsson had six successive birdies around the turn to be only two behind at that stage but Strange just did not give in to the pressure.

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