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Jeev impresses with five-under 67

November 04, 2006 23:56 IST

Jeev Milkha Singh played attacking golf to return with five-under 67 and a three-shot lead after three rounds in the Asahiryokuken Yomiuri Memorial golf tournament in Fukuoka, Japan, on Saturday.

Jeev, the current UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, opened with three birdies and closed with three birdies to be ahead of second placed Yoshikazu Haru (67).

He needed 28 putts today to go through the round and his iron play was once again the feature. He had an incredible nine birdies and four bogeys as he attacked the pins relentlessly.

"I am playing well and I am feeling confident with every shot," said Jeev.

"I had a great start and a great finish and in between, too, I played well, though the few dropped shots set me back a little. But five-under and a decent lead after three rounds puts me in a good position to go for the title," said the Chandigarh-based golfer.

Jeev's nearest rival Tetsuji Hiratsuka (70), who was one behind overnight seemed fine with two birdies in first three holes, but it was in the back that Jeev moved into a different zone.

After turning in two-under, Jeev started with a bogey on tenth. But he quickly grabbed a birdie on 11th only to drop a shot on 12th. Then came birdies on 13th and 14th, before he missed a par putt on 15th.

At this stage he was tied for lead with Yoshikazu at 15-under. While the Japanese player parred his last three holes, Jeev birdied all of them.

Interestingly, Jeev's total of 18-under 198 for 54 holes equals his best for 54 holes. He had the same total after three rounds in the 2004 Asia -- Okinawa Open, when he finished tied second after leading the tournament by four shots after three days.

The Indian, who won the Volvo Masters of Europe last weekend, is looking to add another title on the third international tour in this incredible season. He has already won on Asian and European Tours, and has nine top-10 finishes in 14 starts in Japan this year.

His best has been tied third at Coca Cola Tokai Classic.

Jeev is looking for his first career title in Japan and if he does that, it will be a unique achievement of titles on three different Tours this year.

Jeev has been playing on Japan Tour for the last five years and has finished second on numerous occasions and even lost more than once in play-offs.

Jeev has admitted to liking golf in Japan as the courses afford a strong challenge.

"Travelling is easy and the golf tour is very well-organised making it convenient for the professionals to travel from one place to another each week," he said.

Hiratsuka, four-under after 11th, was then 16-under and one shot ahead of Jeev. But three bogeys in a four-hole stretch between 13th and 16th set him back and even a birdie on 17th meant he was four behind the Indian.

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