Jeev shoots 67, lies fifth at Hong Kong Open

Friday, November 19, 2010

HONG KONG - India’s Jeev Milkha Singh added a three-under 67 to his first day’s 63 to move within three shots of the leader, Ian Poulter, at the $2.5 million UBS Hong Kong Open Friday.

Poulter rumbled to a magnificent 10-under-par 60 for a one-shot second round lead over Anthony Kang of the United States, who fired an equally impressive 61.

Three Indians made the cut and Jeev led them into the weekend with a performance of 10-under 130 and he was tied fifth. The other Indians making the cut were Gaganjeet Bhullar (68-68) at four-under 136 in tied 33rd place, SSP Chowrasia (68-69) at three-under 137 in tied 46th place.

Anirban Lahiri (67-72), Shiv Kapur (69-71), Jyoti Randhawa (68-74), Himmat Rai (71-74), Digvijay Singh (75-70) and C. Muniyappa (73-75) missed the cut. Jeev, battling tendinitis in his right shoulder, turned in 31 but took his foot off the pedal with three bogeys on his inward nine.

He said he got ahead of himself, especially with a bogey on the par five third hole.

“When you put yourself in a good position like this, I think it gives you a lot of confidence.”

“I think the back nine is the easier nine, and I started off really well.

“I shot 5-under, and I thought, let’s do the same on the front. I think I got ahead of myself. Especially on the third hole, I drove it in the fairway. I tried to draw a 3-wood into that flag which is abnormal for me. Course management was wrong and I hit it in the water and made a bogey.

“Overall, I am happy the way I am playing. I am striking the ball well.”

On how injuries have affected him, he said: “I’m feeling pretty good. The good part is we have got good physios helping me out and I’m doing a lot of work with them.”

Poulter had 10 birdies to lead the event. World number 10 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, playing alongside Poulter, looked set for the joint lead but double bogeyed the 18th hole after sending his poor approach into the water for a 66 to lie two back with former Hong Kong Open champion Simon Dyson, who returned a 65.

Two-time Asian Tour number one Jeev and reigning number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand kept up the Asian charge with a 67 and 64 respectively for tied fifth place, three behind. US Open champion Graeme McDowell shot his second straight 65 for fifth place as well.

Poulter turned in 29 with five birdies, including a 30-foot conversion on the ninth after McIlroy had spectacularly holed out with a seven iron for an eagle two. When Poulter got to eight under through 14 holes, a first ever 59 on both Tours loomed but the Englishman parred the next three before rolling in an eight footer for a birdie at the last.

Kang surprised himself by shooting his career-best round with nine birdies to charge into contention.

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