Third-placed Randhawa eyes good finish in Malaysia

March 8th, 2008 - 7:38 pm ICT by admin  


Kuala Lumpur, March 8 (IANS) Jyoti Randhawa, hoping to cap his great run this season with a title here and a possible tilt at a place in world’s top-50, shot a battling 70 and lay joint-third at the end of the third round of the Maybank Malaysian Open Saturday. Defending champion Peter Hedblom carded a flawless seven-under-par 65 to move two shots clear of the field. He led the field at 17-under 199, while Argentine Daniel Vancsik charged into contention with a masterful 64 and is now 15-under 201.

Four of the eight Indians who started made the cut. While Randhawa was tied third, Arjun Atwal charged up from 31st to tied 11th as he brought home a four-under 68 and is now 10-under 206.

S.S.P. Chowrasia bogeyed his 17th hole, the eighth of the course, and finished with a round of 69 to bring him to eight-under 208. Gaurav Ghei had a mid-round blip with three bogeys between the eighth and 11th to score a 72 and was six-under 210 in tied 37th place.

Jeev Milkha Singh, Asia No. 1 in 2006, was one of the big names missing the cut, which came at four-under. Jeev was one short at three-under 141 with rounds of 70 and 71. Other Indians missing the cut were Rahil Gangjee (70-72) and Shiv Kapur (74-69) while Amandeep Johl withdrew.

On a sweltering day at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club, Randhawa came to the course early to complete his second round and started by holing the birdie putt on the 17th. Despite not adding a birdie on 18th, he ended in shared lead at 12-under with a second round 65.

In the third round Randhawa had a disastrous sequence from the sixth to the eighth with three bogeys in a row. But he fought back on the back nine with four birdies, including two on the 17th and 18th to compile a 70 that put him at 14-under 202.

Randhawa was tied third alongside England’s Simon Dyson, who fired a bogey free 67, and Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark who returned a 69.

“As long as I’m knocking on the door, I’m just waiting for it to open one day. That’s what I’m doing right now. I will hang in there and see what happens,” Randhawa said.

Just as he got to the 18th green a storm was looming large on the horizon. Randhawa said he was delighted to complete the round as he had to return earlier today to finish his second round.

“Yes, the referee was standing there and said that we had a choice to either finish the round, or go in. I decided to finish the hole and it was good to end with a birdie,” said Randhawa, who won the 2004 Volvo Masters of Asia at Kota Permai.

“I didn’t hit the ball too well as I wanted to make the scores. On the back nine, I just played golf and I managed good shots in so I’m happy with that. I can now go out with all guns blazing and do my best. I will take the positives and see what I can do tomorrow.”

Hedblom produced a wonderful back nine performance on a sweltering day. The man who had won the title on a different venue last season turned in 34 before romping home in 31, courtesy of three successive birdies from the 11th hole and back-to-back birdies over his closing two holes.

Leading third round scores
199 - Peter Hedblom (SWE) 66-68-65
201 - Daniel Vancsik (ARG) 65-72-64
202 - Simon Dyson (ENG) 64-71-67, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 65-68-69, Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 67-65-70
204 - Darren Clarke (NIR) 69-68-67, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 71-66-67, Scott Barr (AUS) 68-68-68, Nick Dougherty (ENG) 62-70-72
205 - Graeme Mcdowell (NIR) 66-68-71
206 - Arjun Atwal (IND) 70-68-68, Kane Webber (AUS) 67-71-68, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 68-69-69, Carlos Rodiles (ESP) 66-69-71
207 - David Frost (RSA) 70-67-70, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 72-65-70, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 67-70-70, Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 70-70-67, Graeme Storm (ENG) 69-68-70, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 67-69-71, Martin Erlandsson (SWE) 69-67-71, Robert-Jan Derksen (NLD) 66-69-72

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