Jeev laments poor putting at Omega European Masters

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CRANS MONTANA - Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh rued a cold putter as he fired a one-under-par 70 in the opening round of the Omega European Masters Thursday. He was tied 53rd with Jyoti Randhawa (71).

Among the other Indians C. Muniyappa, making his debut in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event, enjoyed a flying start with an outward 32 but dropped three shots coming home to settle for a level par 71. He was tied 69th.

Three other Indians Gaganjeet Bhullar, S.S.P. Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri shot 73 each to be tied 102nd and Shiv Kapur (74) was 120th. They will need to shoot low numbers to make the weekend cut.

Matteo Manassero, the 17 year old former British Amateur Champion, starred on the opening day of the Omega European Masters to take a one shot lead.

The teenager, who admitted to drawing inspiration from Edoardo Molinari’s Gleneagles victory and Ryder Cup call-up, matched the lowest round of his short professional career by grabbing seven birdies for a seven under par 64.

He leads England’s Graeme Storm and Finn Mikko Ilonen by one.

Jeev, the Asian Tour’s number one in 2006 and 2008, failed to take advantage of perfect scoring conditions at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, trading two birdies against a lone bogey on his last hole.

“I was really disappointed with the way I played. I hit the ball really well but couldn’t hole anything. It was summed up at the last hole, making a bogey with sandwedge in the hand,” he said Singh.

After battling with injuries in the past 18 months, a fit-again Jeev has shown signs of regaining his best form but admitted it was a challenge to get all departments working in his game.

“It’s tough. It’s been a tough year and half and I’m trying to get out of it. I just can’t get everything together in the game. You have to hole putts. I’m trying to get everything going in a day,” he said.

“I just need to work hard and get sharper. It’s there for the taking. There are a lot of birdies out there. You just have to go out and grind it out. You’ve got to make a lot of up and downs. I’m going to work on my putting now,” said Jeev, who trails early leader Manassero by six shots.

Muniyappa, the reigning Hero Honda Indian Open champion, charged to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies against two bogeys in his first nine holes but ran out of gas.

“I putted badly on the back nine. I three putted the first and second holes (his 10th and 11th holes) and after that, my putting feel was gone. I couldn’t judge the pace. I hit the ball nicely, it was all down to the putting. It was disappointing,” said Muniyappa.

Since arriving for his maiden trip the renowned Swiss skiing resort town, Muniyappa has been in awe of the sights of the snow-capped mountains, which are visible from almost every corner of the golf course.

“The location is very good. It’s my first time here and when I first got here, I thought that this was a superb venue. Conditions were really good for scoring today, there was no wind at all. You can easily shoot four or five under. I didn’t hit the ball well at the start of the year but it’s slowly coming back,” he said.

Shiv Kapur carded a 74 while Bangladesh’s Siddikur, winner of the Brunei Open, started strongly with a 70.

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