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Thailand Open: Randhawa, Chowrasia in joint lead

March 07, 2009 16:47 IST

A relaxed attitude worked wonders for Jyoti Randhawa as he fired a sizzling eight-under 62 to grab a share of the lead with compatriot SSP Chowrasia (70) and Welshman Rhys Davies (69) after the penultimate round of the Singha Thailand Open in Phuket on Saturday.

The 2002 Asian Tour number one was in irrepressible form at Laguna Phuket Golf Club, sinking an eagle, seven birdies and one bogey to finish off with a total of 12-under 198 after starting the day eight shots adrift.

Overnight leader Chowrasia battled to a 70 in the $ 500,000 event while Davies, chasing a maiden victory, missed a five-foot birdie chance for the outright lead at the 18th hole for a 69.

The 36-year-old Randhawa wielded his putter like a magic wand, rolling in 14 one-putts on his card.

"It was great putting today. I holed everything," said Randhawa, who is chasing an eighth Asian Tour title.

His eagle came courtesy of a radar-guided two iron approach from 246 yards which landed four feet of the flag.

"That was the only fairway that I hit all day and I made eagle. I need to hit more fairways to hit more eagles but I'm not complaining," he said.

Randhawa said he has enjoyed his time on the holiday isle and reckons it has paid off.

"I'm enjoying the sun, sand and going scuba diving. I'm going to keep this relaxed attitude forever. Every time you get too hyper and try too much, it goes the other way. Maybe I just found something that I need to do week in, week out." 

Meanwhile, after a 62 yesterday, Chowrasia failed to find his rhythm and settled for three birdies against as many bogeys. However, the 30-year-old still feels confident ahead of tomorrow's final round shootout.

"I did not hit it nearly as well as on Friday. But I am still joint leader and I am confident I can play well tomorrow and win the tournament. At the start I had a good feeling but things started to go badly in the middle of the front nine. I hit poor tee shots on six and seven and ended up with two bogeys," Chowrasia said. 

"Overall, I am pretty happy. I did not hole many putts but I hit a lot close – maybe tomorrow they will drop."     

Further down, Gaganjeet Bhullar was tied for the sixth spot after stuttering to a one-over 71 that left him eight-under 202 overall. 

Shiv Kapur was the next best-placed Indian at the tied 25th spot after carding a 68 that took his overall score to five-under 205. Himmat Rai shared the 25th spot with Shiv after returning an identical 68. 

Anirban Lahiri (72) was tied for the 52nd position with a total of two-under 207. A stroke adrift was Amandeep Johl (72) while Digvijay Singh (76) was almost at the bottom at tied 63rd spot.

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