Jeev tames wind to share lead World Golf Championship (Lead)

March 13th, 2009 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Doral (Miami), March 13 (IANS) India’s top golfer Jeev Milkha Singh tamed the blustery conditions as he fired a sensational seven-under 65 to grab a share in the four-way lead at the end of the first round in $8.5 million WGC-CA Championship golf tournament.
Attempting to make full use of the starts in the Majors and the WGC Championships series and seal a full card for 2010, Jeev Thursday shot eight birdies and one bogey in his 65 that placed him alongside World No. 3 Phil Mickelson, South African Retief Goosen and Thai Prayad Marksaeng.

In a field that includes Tiger Woods (71), who was 40th after the first round, Jeev was in superb form that elicited high praise from fellow players at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa.

“Honestly, I love this golf course. I think it suits my eye. I am pretty happy with the way I played today. I drove the ball well. I hit a lot of greens and I think it all comes down to putting. I putted well, and I think that’s why you shoot a score like that,” said Jeev, whose best in US has been a tied ninth in the PGA Championships last year.

Jeev teed off from the tenth and found a birdie immediately but gave that shot away on the next hole. After parring next three he had a hat-trick of birdies from 15th to 17th to turn around in three-under.

He started the front nine with another birdie and followed up with two more on second and third and yet another on fifth. That gave him seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch and six in seven from 15th to the third.

Jeev said that he had worked hard on the swing for te past few years and this is helping him now.

Talking of his form, Jeev added: “I’ve been hitting the ball great. I’m very happy with the way I’m striking the ball. I think it all comes down to putting, and I think I putted really well today, the first time this year, and hope to keep it going.”

Another player with a great short game in first round was Mickelson. He hit the ball well and was also great in and around the greens. Woods shot a 71 and was 40th in the 80-player field.

Goosen, switching back to a conventional putter, ran off eight birdies in his round of 65. And the real surprise was Marksaeng, who birdied eight of his first 12 holes to join the leaders.

The group one shot behind included British Open and PGA champion Padraig Harrington.

Sean O’Hair with two eagles at the start was among the group at 67, and Henrik Stenson playing a shot from the dirty waters on the third hole after taking off everything but his boxer shorts and his golf club, shot a 69.

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