Jeev stays positive despite missing cut at Augusta Masters

April 11th, 2009 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Tiger Woods Augusta (Georgia), April 11 (IANS) Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh walked off the Augusta National Club with a great birdie, but before that his putter made him suffer and led to his first early exit from the Masters.
Jeev, who made the cut last two years, looked set for a hat-trick with an even par front nine, but then found the next seven holes painful as he dropped four bogeys in the second round here Friday.

A gutsy par on 17th and a great birdie on 18th could not keep him longer in the Masters as he missed the cut by an agonising one shot after a second round 75 in wind-swept conditions to follow his first round 71. He ended at 146 with the cut coming at 145.

Despite missing the cut, the positive looking Asian Tour No. 1 said he was taking something in terms of experience from the tournament by playing with Tiger Woods for two days.

The lead was shared by Chad Campbell (70) and Kenny Perry who at 48 could become the oldest Masters champion beating Jack Nicklaus’ record of 46 years, two months, 23 days in 1986. Perry was at nine-under 135 with Campbell and it was the best first 36 hole total since Chris DiMarco opened 67-67 to total 134 in 2005, when he finished second to Tiger Woods.

“Playing with Tiger gave me a great opportunity and an insight into what makes him tick,” said Jeev, who maintained he was not going to feel disappointed but collect himself for more events in the US.

“My putting let me down. I didn’t putt too well and three-putted three times. I didn’t hole anything,” said Jeev, who also wished his playing partner Tiger “all the best” in his endeavour to win a fifth Masters.

“It was one of those days when you hit good putts but they don’t go in. I tried in the end and made a good birdie on 18 but it was not enough. I know I will be back and try again.”

“There isn’t (room for error). It’s a windy day and you’re just hanging in there. The three putts were tough to take. You just have to roll the putts in. I think I hit the ball good today, better than yesterday,” he said.

Talking of his experience with Tiger, he added: “I’ve enjoyed myself. I had a great pairing and he made me feel comfortable out there. Tiger never gives up. Obviously, his recovery is fantastic and mentally he’s very good. He makes sure he’s got a putt for par and makes a roll at it. If he starts holing putts, he’ll be up there on Sunday. Just seeing him play is an education in golf,” said Jeev.

Woods tied for 19th and he is trying to be the first Masters champion since Nicklaus in 1986 to win after being outside top-10 at the end of the second round.

Some big names missing the cut included Ernie Els (75, 71), Retief Goosen (75, 71) and Adam Scott (71, 75) alongside Jeev. Also making an early exit were K.J. Choi (76, 72) and Greg Norman (70, 77).

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