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Ghei shoots into lead again

April 28, 2007 18:54 IST

Gaurav Ghei recovered his touch right in time to bring in a superb four-under 68 and take a share in the four-way lead with one more round to go in the inaugural US $500,000 Pine Valley Beijing Open on Saturday.

Ghei fired six birdies against two bogeys for his 68, in which his front nine came in a flawless four-under 32. He was 11 under 205 after rounds of 65 and 72 on the first two days.

The Delhi-based golfer shares the lead with Scott Strange, whose round included a stunning hole-in-one on the par-3 12th hole.

Overnight leader, Panuwat Meunlek overcame a double bogey on par-5 13th hole with a 69 and Adam Blyth with 67 were also on 11-under.

"Every time after you win, it helps boost your confidence. After my win last year, I had a lot of good finishes in events like the HSBC Champions and the Johnnie Walker Classic," said Ghei, who last year broke his 11-year winless streak with a victory at the Mercuries Masters.

"I've been playing well and maybe this week I might have another win under my belt, who knows. There are lots of good players out there, it's not going to the easy but it's going to be fun trying," the 38-year-old Ghei said.

"Scott is a strong contender, Adam's form has been great and Panuwat has been solid this week. Even Thaworn is creeping in, so it's going to be a shoot out tomorrow and if I can make some birdies earlier on, it will be exciting to see how it boils down," he added.

India's other two remaining challengers SSP Chowrasia and Amandeep Johl shot 72 and 73 respectively for a tied 50th place.

One shot behind the four leaders is Anthony Kang, who had two eagles and one double bogey in his eventful round of 65 that at one stage saw him slot five birdies and an eagle in a seven-hole stretch between the second and eighth.

Then came a double bogey on ninth. He later had another eagle on par-five 16th.

Thaworn Wiratchant with a bogeyfree on back nine carded a 67 and climbed to sole sixth at nine-under and just two off the lead.

Ghei, who just could not sink his putts yesterday in second round but still hung in grittily for a 72, had three pars for a start. Then he struck a purple patch with birdies on fourth and fifth and again back to back birdies on seventh and eighth.

A bogey on 12th set him back a little, but again a birdie on 15th made up for that. Then came a disappointing bogey on par-5 16th, where he had safely parred on first two days. Ghei however closed with a birdie on closing 18th to get into a share of the lead.

Chowrasia began with two birdies in first three holes and then had two bogeys and parred the whole of back nine. Johl had double bogeys on first and third and a birdie in between.

He had four other birdies and two bogeys in his 73.

Ghei, the winner on Asian Tour in 1995 and 2006, said "It was good to see some of those putts falling."

This season Ghei was tied sixth at the Johnnie Walker Classic.

"I have been consistent, but not been able to finish high enough."

He has made eight cuts in a row but apart from his sixth place in Johnnie Walker Classic, his best finishes have been 23rd and 25th in Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open and TCL Classic in Shanghai. Still he stands 10th on the UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Third round scores

205 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-68-67, Scott Strange (AUS) 69-68-68, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 65-72-68, Panuwat Muenlek (THA) 66-70-69

206 - Anthony Kang (USA) 69-72-65

207 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 72-68-67

208 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 70-69-69

209 - Angelo Que (PHI) 70-72-67, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-67-73

210 - Kane Webber (AUS) 71-69-70, Jerome Delariarte (PHI) 71-69-70, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 69-71-70, Taichiro Kiyota (JPN) 70-69-71, Brad Iles (NZL) 69-69-72, John Daly (USA) 67-71-72.

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