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Jeev finishes second in Jakarta

February 17, 2008 18:44 IST

Jeev Milkha Singh came tantalisingly close to his second European Tour title only to settle for second place after a final hole bogey dashed his hopes at the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Sunday.

Jeev held the lead for a while too but bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes allowed Chile's Felipe Aguilar (68) to clinch the title, and the winner's purse of $ 200,000, at 18-under 262.

Also read: Jeev to cut down on assignments

Though a second European Tour title slipped through his fingers, Jeev (67) was richer by $ 1,33,330 after finishing second at 263.

Even after the bogey on the 16th, Jeev seemed on his way to force a sudden-death play-off with Aguilar but dropping another shot on the closing hole put paid to his hopes.

Had Jeev been able to lift the trophy, it would have been India's second European Tour title in as many weeks after SSP Chowrasia won the Indian Masters in Delhi last week.

"It was Aguilar's day and not mine today. It was disappointing for me but I guess that's golf," a philosophical Jeev said after his closing putt dropped in for a par.

"Aguilar deserves this win and I congratulate him," said the Indian, gracious as ever in defeat.

Jeev began the day trailing Aguilar by two shots but was quickly on the charge starting with the sixth hole where he sank in for an eagle.

The former Asia number one went on to reel in a birdie on the eighth hole, followed by another eagle at the 324-yard, par-four 11th.

But his title challenge collapsed after his wayward drives on the 16th and 18th resulted in costly bogeys.

Thailand's Prom Meesawat returned with a 67 to share third place with South Africa's James Kamte while New Zealand's Mark Brown and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands were tied for fifth on 264.

Aguilar said despite Jeev's late charge, he was always confident of his chances.

"After Jeev made bogey on the 16th, I realised that I was still in the game. I knew I had to make a three on the 18th for a play-off. I was so sure that I was going to birdie.

"I didn't expect him to bogey but you never know how golf is. It's not over till it's over," said the jubilant golfer after winning the $ 1.2 million co-sanctioned event by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Among other Indians in the fray, Jyoti Randhawa (266) signed off with a sensational round of 62 to finish tied seventh, one shot ahead of Arjun Atwal (67) who was tied 10th.

Veteran Gaurav Ghei (274) carded 69 in his final round to finisht tied 40th, one shot ahead of Shiv Kapur (70) who was tied 44th.

Leading final scores:
262 - Felipe Aguilar (CHI) 65-62-67-68
263 - Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 65-66-65-67
264 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 66-63-68-67, James Kamte (RSA) 62-67-68-67
265 - Joost Luiten (NLD) 64-69-66-66, Mark Brown (NZL) 67-66-66-66
266 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 68-70-66-62,Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 69-64-66-67, Liang (CHN) 65-67-64-70
267 - C Rodgers (ENG) 68-68-67-64, Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 71-68-63-65, Arjun Atwal (IND) 67-67-66-67.

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