Jyoti at tied 2nd place Japan's Kiyota emerges 3rd round leader

Gurgaon, Mar 1 (UNI) A 'lucky' 68 by crowd favourite Jyoti Randhawa set up the stage for a nerve wrecking final round as the Indian is tied second with New Zealand's Mark Brown, a stroke away from leader Taichiro Kiyota of Japan who carded his second successive five under 67 on the penultimate day of the US 2.5 million dollars Johnnie Walker Classic golf here today.

On a day which started ominously for the Indians as Gaurav Ghei was disqualified, overnight tied 3rd, Jyoti, helped by some luck played a steady golf and ended the day with a four under round to take his total to 13 under 203 (70,65,68).

He hit five birdies and a bogey in his round and later admitted, ''I think I was bit lucky. I hit two bad shots but I am still in the reckoning, that is very nice feeling.

''I managed to par the last hole. I hit a bad shot but to still got away with a par. It was pure luck,'' he said and added ''I think on the 3rd, I pulled my tee shot and then it a really bad shot on the 16th but again got away with a par.

''Anyway tomorrow will be another day. I will have to focus on my shot not before or after that.'' Taichiro Kiyota was in full flow, the Japanese so far had a dream run hitting 68, 67, 67 in three rounds. This afternoon he fired an eagle on the 6th and had four birdies - 7th, 9th, 16th, 18th - and a bogey on the fifth to complete his day.

His total is 14 under par 202, a stroke adrift from Jyoti and SAIL Open winner Mark Brown.

For New Zealand's Brown, India is turning out to be a lucky hunting ground. He won the SAIL open last month at Greater Noida and is now sniffing victory here.

Brown hit two eagles on the 9th and 8th and seven birdies but missed three strokes for his blistering eight under 64 and with a total of 13 under 203 (71, 68, 64), he is very much in contention for the title.

''The win at SAIL open has certainly helped me,'' Brown said.

''Now I am pretty comfortable with my game at the moment and I am just enjoying the golf.'' Jyoti had finished tied second at SAIL Open. Philip Archer (England), Greg Chalmers (Australia) and Graeme Storm (England) were at tied fourth place with a score of 11 under 205.

Delhi's Shiv Kapur had an uneven day as he fired six birdies and as many bogeys to end his third round at par 72. But he is still in the reckoning with a score of 10 under par 206 (69, 65, 72) and was tied 7th along with Adam Scott (Australia) and first round joint leader Daniel Vancsik (Argentina).

Former World number one, Vijay Singh of Fiji shot three under 69, which included seven birdie and four bogeys and was at joint 10th place along with France's Raphel Jacquein with total of nine under 207.

Much was expected from Jeev Milkha Singh, overnight tied at 13, the Chandigarh pro, however, did nothing to enthuse his fans as he carded his second successive two under par 70 round to take his three round total to eight under par 208 (68,70,70).

The 37-year-old, world ranked 77, started cautiously as he fired two birdies on the 3rd and 6th on his way out but pared the return nine hitting a birdie and a bogey.

This did not help Jeev as he slipped down the leader board.

Another fancied Indian, Arjun Atwal, however, came up with a better showing with a card of five under par 67.

The Florida based pro, who was tied 40 at the end of the second round, shot six birdies and a bogey in this round which took his total to eight under 208 (69, 72, 67) and he is clubbed with Jeev Milkha Singh at joint 12th position.

Atwal started poorly hitting a bogey on the first but regained his focus immediately as he shot three birdies on the 2nd, 4th and 9th. His return nine was flawless in which he had birdies on the 12th, 3th and 16th.

Also returning the five under 67 card was Mukesh Kumar who improved his standing on the leader board, from overnight tied 48th to joint 21, with a total of 7 under par 209.

He had a steady round in which he hit six birdies and a bogey.

Arjun Singh returned a one over par 73 card and he now has three day's total of four under 212 (69, 70, 73). This was his first over par round in the tournament.

The 37-year-old Delhi pro hit two birdies and three bogeys, all coming in his return nine. Overnight, he was tied at joint 19th and he slipped by 25 places to be at joint 44th slot.

Arjun's two other compatriots, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Digvijay Singh also shot one over round, and they also came down tumbling.

Bhullar with a total of two under 214 (72, 69, 73) slipped from tied 40th to tied 52nd place. This afternoon he had two birdies and three bogeys to show in his round.

Digvijay dropped five strokes while hitting four brdies and with 3 under 213 (70,70,73) came down to 48th slot from joint 28th overnight.

Rahil Ganjee shot two under par 70 for a total of 7 under par 209 (68, 71, 70) and lost two places to end the day at joint 21st. While Rahul Ganapathy with two over 74 had a par 216 total and was way down the leader board at 64.


Story first published: Saturday, March 1, 2008, 19:36 [IST]
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