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Jeev aims for back-to-back titles

Hong Kong, Nov 22 (UNI) In a bid to become the first Asian player to win the Hong Kong Open after a decade, Jeev Milkha Singh fired a 66 to raise his overnight 10th position to tied fourth at the end of the third day of the 2.5 million dollar tournament here.

The Indian pro, who was lying 10-under 200, has been in great form and won the Singapore Open last week to seal the Order of Merit besides other landmarks.

He was however three shots behind the leaders- England's Oliver Wilson (65) and Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-tang (64).

Other Indians in fray, Jyoti Randhawa carded a four-under 66 to raise his position from 46th to tied 25th at five-under.

Randhawa's round was studded with six birdies against two bogeys.

However, Gaurav Ghei seemed to be heading towards a great round after he fired an eagle on the 13th that took him four-under after 13 despite two bogeys. Later on the 15th and 18th, he dropped two bogeys against one birdie on 16th to finish at 67. But he managed to move from his overnight 61st position to tied 42nd.

Amassing five birdies and one bogey in his way to 66, Jeev refused to admit that he was the favourite considering his recent form and last week's win.

''Anybody from eight-under can take this. It's going to be a great day tomorrow. Everyone will be fired up and may the best man win. I will keep doing what I'm doing and that's where I get those 62s and 63s, but I think it will all come down to putting,'' said Jeev, who has already sealed his second Order of Merit in three years.

But he added, ''I'm comfortable with the way I'm playing and I'm confident and looking forward to tomorrow, see what comes my way. This tournament has a lot of history and the set up is fantastic. It's great to be here.'' On his tiredness at the start of the week, the 37-year-old Jeev, who now seemed refreshed at the prospect of being in the hunt said, ''That's (tiredness) gone out of the window. You put yourself in a good position, you start thinking about things which can happen. I guess I'm going to take it that way.'' Ireland's Rory McIlroy was tied with Jeev at the fourth position.

He also shot a 66 including three birdies on the last three holes.

Italy's Francesco Molinari was also in the mix in fourth place after his second straight 67 together with Spain's Pablo Larrazabal, who has improved scoring a 64 for a total of 200.


Story first published: Saturday, November 22, 2008, 18:34 [IST]
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