Late birdies help Jeev to a par round in Houston

April 6th, 2008 - 1:06 pm ICT by admin  

Houston (US), April 6 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh scrambled his way to an even par 72 with two birdies near the end to card a modest even par 72 in the third round of the Shell Houston Open Saturday. The Indian star, who plays at the Masters next week, is now one-under 215 for three days and lies 52nd, a drop of five places from his second round 47th place at Redstone Golf Club. Local player Johnson Wagner carded his second straight 69 and continued to top the leaderboard at 15-under 201 after 54 holes.

Jeev, who had six birdies in the second round had just one birdie on 12th after starting from tenth and turned in one-under. On the second nine, bogeyed the second. Then he dropped a double on par-4 sixth hole to go two over. He recovered with a birdie on seventh and then birdied the par-5 eighth for the third day in a row to get back to even par.

“I am trying to get my game in order for next week,” said Jeev, who needed 30 putts for the day.

“It is hard not to think about next week. Even as I play my own game, the Masters is always there on the top of my mind. Having played here last year, I know how it is to be there and I am looking forward to that.”

South Korean stalwart K.J. Choi played a solid three-under-par 69 in the third round to lie in a tie for 10th place Saturday. The former Asian Tour regular blasted six birdies against three dropped shots for a seven-under-par 209 total.

Among other Asian Tour stars, Korea’s Charlie Wi stumbled to a 77 and slipped to joint 65th position.

As Wagner retained the lead Chad Campbell and Bob Estes surged upwards to challenge him. Wagner carded a three-under-par 69 to move to 15-under-par 201 after three rounds but Campbell was one shot behind after a seven-under 65 and Estes carded an eight-under 64 and was three shots behind along with Charley Hoffman.

Geoff Ogilvy, winner of World Golf Championships, is five shots behind Wagner in sole fifth on 10 under after he produced a faultless six-under-par third round of 66, which included four birdies and an eagle on the 4th hole.

Matthew Goggin slipped from equal second to sixth on the leaderboard after an even round of 72 to be nine under overall.

The conditions were perfect and many players took immediate advantage of it. Fred Couples, in a tie for 36th after two rounds, shot a 67 and moved up to tied 10th.

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