Jeev grapples wet, windy conditions to move to top

December 5th, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Dec 5 (IANS) On a wet and windy day when scoring was rather difficult, Jeev Milkha Singh stuck to his task to thread an even par 70, which helped him move into sole lead at the midway stage of the season-ending Nippon Series JT Cup at the Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club. Putting together a patchy 70 that had three bogeys, a double bogey and five birdies, Jeev moved to the top of the leaderboard at six-under 134. There were just six players under par from the 26 who started and another seven, including Jeev, shot even par.

“It was a tough day out there, but the weather is often like this on the Japan Tour and I am used to it. It was an up-and-down round with birdies and bogeys seeming to alternate, but I needed to stick to the task and not think about the score,” said Jeev, who won here in 2006 and then after leading for 71 holes, lost it on the 72nd with a double bogey last year.

“It has been a long season and a good one at that. I have a couple of more engagements after this and then it will be short break,” added Jeev.

Assured of the Asian Tour Money List title, Jeev, who opened with a first round 64, is seeking his second title in four starts in Japan, was one shot clear of Toshinori Muto (70) and Katsumasa Miyamoto (71), who were both on five-under 135.

Winner of the Nagashima Shigeo Invitational in July, Jeev is playing in only his fourth tournament in Japan this season. In his other two appearances, he was sixth at the Crowns and missed the cut at the Sun Chlorella Classic.

Jeev, who has spent most of season in Europe, was 12th on the Money List. He had a birdie-bogey-birdie start and had two more birdies sixth and ninth against a dropped shot on the seventh to turn in two-under 33 at which stage he was in sole lead at seven-under with nine holes to play.

The 36-year-old Indian dropped down to second, as he double bogeyed the 11th and his playing partner, Miyamoto moved into lead but rebounded with a birdie, only to bogey the 17th before parring the last and finishing the day at even par and was six-under for 36 holes.

Record-breaking schoolboy Ryo Ishikawa recovered from a troubled start on the front nine, to card a 69 and move to four-under 136 in tied fourth with New Zealand’s David Smail and overnight leader Kaname Yokoo.

Shingo Katayama, winner of the Japanese Money list for the fifth time last week, shot a 70 and shared seventh on 137 with Keiichiro Fukabori, Hiroyuki Fujita and Taichi Teshima.

Australian Brendan Jones, the defending champion, finished on 2-under after a 71.

The field at the Nippon Series JT Cup features this year’s tournament champions, the defending champion all others who finished in the top 25 of the money rankings through last week’s event.

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