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Jeev bounces back to tied third

December 15, 2006 19:50 IST

Birthday boy Jeev Milkha Singh shot a six-under 66 to rocket up the leaderboard into tied third place after the second round of the USD 650,000 Volvo Masters of Asia golf tournament in Bangkok on Friday.

The fine card saw Jeev, celebrating his 35th birthday, finish the round at six-under 138, two shots behind leader Thongchai Jaidee.

Jeev, who had a modest 72 in the first round, said he was sharper on the course and putted very well today.

"It is a nice birthday gift with a 66 today, so I will take that. I did not hit the ball too good but I putted great today. I am happy with the way I came back," said Jeev who has won on his last two starts in Japan.

"I was sharp on the golf course. I did not miss the greens on the wrong side today and when I did I made some good up and downs," said Jeev.

Thai star Thongchai took the halfway lead with a four-under-par 68.

Thongchai, winner of the event in 2003, overcame an early slip in his second round at Thai Country Club before roaring across the finish line with his seven-birdie round in the Asian Tour's season finale.

Compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant showed he is determined to sign the year off as Asia's number one on a winning note, carding a bogey-free 65 for second place, one behind Thongchai.

While Jeev made the big move up, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia, India's new star this season, shot a second successive two-under 70 and moved into ninth place.

Shiv Kapur and Jyoti Randhawa, the last two winners of this tournament, carded three-under 69 each -- both had a 72 on first day -- to come into the frame at three-under 141 and in tied 15th place.

Amandeep Johl, 14th overnight, slipped with a five-over 77 and was tied 46th at three-over 147 while Gaurav Ghei (76) was five-over 149 in tied 53rd. Rahil Gangjee made some improvement with a 72 after his first day 79, and he was tied 56th.

Jeev had a great start with birdies on the first and second holes. After that he got it to seven-under but two bogeys on the back proved to be the dampener.

"I made a bogey on 13, I had a bad lie just off the green and had no shot. I got on the green and two putted from 15 feet. On 15, I hit a bad drive into the bunker and was up against the lip. I was short of the green with my sand wedge approach and missed a 10 foot par putt."

"This round has got me in the mood to give it my best effort. I have no plans to celebrate my birthday. I am just going to have dinner in the hotel and then hit the sack as usual."

The Thais had a fine day, as behind Thongchai and Thaworn, there was another Thai, Prom Meesawat, who shot a 70.

Overnight leader Prayad Marksaeng from Thailand battled to a 72 for a share of fifth place with compatriot Chawalit Plaphol, Korea's Lee Sung and left-handed American Edward Loar.


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