Jeev seventh, boosts chances of British Open berth

July 6th, 2008 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Ash, Kent, London, July 6 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh made light of the adverse windy conditions as his chase for the British Open berth got a big boost with a three-under 69 in the third round of the European Open at the London Golf Club Saturday. The third round, played at time in winds going as high as 25 miles per hour, brought his total to seven-under 209 and within a short distance of getting into the top-5 which will get him a place in the British Open two weeks from now.

Jeev, who has been coming close and missing the British Open berth this season needs to be in top-5 to play the year’s third Major. No other Indian has so far qualified for the British Open, where there has been at least one Indian each year for the past six years.

“My driving was very good and hitting even better, but I did not make enough putts,” said Jeev. “There is still one more round to go and I am hopeful of doing well.”

Jeev, the only Indian of the four who started to make the cut this week, looked in great form as he shot a hat-trick of birdies from the third to fifth. A bogey on sixth set him back slightly, but birdies on the 10th and 15th, which like the fifth he birdied for the third day in a row, brought him to eight-under and inside top-5. But a missed putt on 16th saw him fall back again and he finished the day in tied seventh.

The third day saw Jeev improve his driving a great deal finding 10 of the 14 fairways and also hit the irons well to reach 15 of the 18 greens in regulation. But like the second round, he was let down by the putter as he needed 31 for the round.

England’s Ross Fisher continued to be the leader as he shot a 69 despite two bogeys in first seven holes. He ended with an eagle on 15th and birdie on 18th. He is 16-under 200 and three shots clear of Graeme McDowell (71) who is 13-under. David Frost (69) is another three behind at 10-under 206.

Fisher tamed both the adverse weather and a formidable 18th hole to take a three-stroke lead into the final round. With Graeme McDowell driving into the lake on the tough last holes, Fisher hit a superb drive and then an approach to eight feet to nail the day’s only birdie on the 18th hole.

The birdie that followed - the only one achieved on the 471 yard hole all day - gave him a 69 to add to his course record 63 on Thursday and Friday 68 for a 54-hole total of 200. The hole saw 29 bogeys, five double bogeys and one triple bogey from the 70 players.

Earlier McDowell was ahead after seven holes as Fisher bogeyed twice early.

Joint fourth on eight under are Ireland’s Paul McGinley, Dane S

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