Jeev shares lead at the World Golf Championship

March 13th, 2009 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Doral (Florida), March 13 (IANS) India golfer Jeev Milkha Singh thundered into a shared lead at the end of the first round of the star-studded WGC-CA Championship.
Reigning Asia’s No.1 Jeev carded eight birdies Thursday against a lone bogey en route to a 65 in the opening round at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa.

The Indian star’s amazing run at the $8 million event started with an opening birdie at the back-nine. But after overcoming a bogey scare on the next hole, Jeev went on a birdie blitz that included three successive birdies from the 15th to 17th followed by another birdie rout from the first to third holes after the turn.

“I hit the ball pretty well and I think it comes down to putting at the end of the day. I rolled it well so I am pretty pleased with the 65,” said Jeev, who has never fared better than tied for ninth in a US PGA Tour event.

“Honestly, I love this golf course! I think it suits my eye,” added Jeev.

Underlining the growing strength of Asia’s game Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng also joined Jeev in a share of first round lead with current world number three Phil Mickelson of the US and two-time Major champion Retief Goosen of South Africa also in the lead pack.

Prayad birdied eight of his first 12 holes to finish the round at seven-under-par 65. The Thai star also took a mere 24 putts after hitting 14 greens in regulation, highlighting his return to good form in the strokeplay event in Florida.

The six-time Asian Tour winner, who started on the back-nine made the turn at one-under- 35. He then fired six more birdies after the turn and returned home with an inward 30 to secure a place at the top of the leaderboard.

A good showing in Doral this week will ultimately boost Prayad into the Top-50 ranking in the world, and give him an automatic place at the Masters next month.

Chinese Taipei’s (Taiwan) Lin Wen-tang had to endure a slow start, carding a 75 for a tied-74th place while New Zealand’s Mark Brown is in tied-60th after recording a 73.

Asian Tour’s honorary members Vijay Singh and K.J Choi are in tied-17th (69) and 60th (73) respectively while world number one Tiger Woods is tied for 40th place after recording a 71.

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