Jeev shoots 65 to move into second place at Jakarta

February 16th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by admin  


Jakarta, Feb 16 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh put himself in an ideal position to make it a second win for India in as many weeks in a co-sanctioned event between the Asian and European Tours here Saturday. With two birdies in the last four holes, Jeev moved to second place and was within two shots of the leader, Felipe Aguilar of Chile, at the end of the third round of the $1.2 million Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open golf.

Jeev, with five-under 65, is at 14-under 196, while Aguilar (67) at 16-under 194 held the lead. Tied for second with Jeev, Asia No.1 in 2006, is China’s Liang Wen-Chong (64), last year’s Asia No.1.

Continuing India’s good showing was Arjun Atwal (66) at 10-under 200 and in tied 10th place. The other Indians who made the cut — Jyoti Randhawa (66) was lying 28th at six-under 204, while Gaurav Ghei (67) and Shiv Kapur (69) were tied for 37th at five-under 205 at the Walter Raleigh Stewart designed Cengkareng Golf Club opened in 1999.

“It is a good position to be in, but I am not thinking about winning or anything. I just want to continue with my routine and let the results come by,” said Jeev, who won four times in 2006, but failed to land any wins in 2007. His three rounds here have been 65, 66 and 65.

Augusta-bound Jeev, who has not been able to find more than 50 percent of the fairways on any of three days, has however been hitting very well. He found 14 of the 18 greens in regulation - he had 15 and 13 on the first two days. “That’s been the key. I have been hitting very well and putting the ball on green well,” said Jeev, who after one three-putt each in the first two rounds, had no three-putts in third round.

Jeev, sixth overnight, began the third round sedately with four pars before he found four birdies in next five holes with three in a row from seventh to ninth. A bogey on par-four 13th was a mild interruption before he birdied the 15th and the closing hole, guarded by water, for a day’s work of five-under 65.

Jeev, who has slotted 17 birdies in three days, has dropped just one bogey in each round. “I just want to focus on the game and not get ahead,” said Jeev, who has two wins on the European Tour, both in 2006.

Atwal, who is in the second week of his five-week stretch in Asia, shot a four-under 66 and moved up from overnight 14th to tied 10th. “I played well last week also in Delhi, but messed up the final round,” said Atwal. “It’s been good so far and hopefully I can move up again Sunday.”

Atwal, the first Indian to win on European Tour, shot a 76 and slipped to 15th last week in EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters, where fellow Kolkatan S.S.P. Chowrasia scored his first win on both Asian and European Tours.

Atwal birdied the third, like he did on first two days and then added a second birdie on eighth and on the ninth. He had his third birdie in as many days. Birdies on 11th and 17th were split by a bogey on 16th.

Aguilar, who had a 62 on second day, began with a bogey on first, played steady pars till seventh, where he found his first birdie. An eagle followed on par-five ninth but on the back nine he had just one birdie on 11th and rest were pars as he missed a few birdie putts.

The day’s best card came from Liang Wen-Chong. After three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, he hit a purple patch on back nine. Five birdies on 10th, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th saw him finish at 64 and move from seventh to second.

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