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This article was first published 21 years ago  » Sports » Arjun Singh joins Kamps at the top

Arjun Singh joins Kamps at the top

December 07, 2002 17:57 IST
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India's Arjun Singh produced a stunning shot in a thrilling third round at the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia to join Craig Kamps of South Africa at the top of the leaderboard on Saturday.

Singh, chasing his first victory on the Davidoff Tour, fired a four-under-par 68 at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club for a 13-under 203 aggregate alongside overnight leader Kamps, who posted a battling 69, in the US $500,000 event.

The duo lead the Volvo Masters of Asia by one stroke over American Jim Johnson, who carded a 68, while rising star Gerald Rosales of the Philippines and Singapore's number one Mardan Mamat are two behind after firing matching 66s to be in tied fourth place.

Singh trailed the leader by one at the start of the round but Kamps streaked ahead with a three-under front nine. But the gutsy Indian caught up on the 14th hole with his fourth birdie and then produced one of the shots of the week.

After hitting his tee shot on 15 into a bunker, play was abandoned for 70 minutes because of a torrential thunderstorm. But Singh came out firing after the delay. He chipped out his second and then holed a sensational eight iron from 160 yards for birdie.

An unfazed Kamps then matched that effort by draining a 30-footer for birdie on the same hole to stay level on 13-under. On the par three 17th, Singh enjoyed another touch of luck. He missed the green but his chip hit the flag and ended one foot from the hole for par.

"I stayed patient and calm again today. After an even par front nine, I made putts on 10, 12 and 14. And after we came back from the delay, I hit a nice eight iron which rolled into the hole. That is my shot of the week so far.

"On 17, I got lucky. I chipped too hard but luckily, the ball hit the flag. That would have gone at least 10 feet by," said the 33-year-old Singh.

Singh's superb round launched him into the third round lead for the first time in his career.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I'm going to keep to the same game plan, hit fairways and greens, play it one shot at a time and stay patient. Craig is playing very well and played good solid golf. At one time, I was four behind but I caught up and I'm pleased with that. I've got a shot at the title tomorrow."

Kamps said it was crucial for him to hole that long putt on 15, which was rated the toughest hole on the course today.

"It was nice to do that after Arjun holed his third. When he made that shot, it inspired me a little to get moving.

"I think that was why I made birdie. I played nicely but I felt like I was scrambling all the time even though I was hitting solid shots," said Kamps, a two-time winner in Asia.

In the Davidoff Tour Order of Merit battle, India's Arjun Atwal, who needs to win the Volvo Masters of Asia to have a chance of ending the year as number one, soared to a 79 as his hopes ended.

Merit leader Jyoti Randhawa struggled on the greens to sign for a 73 and is tied 32nd while Thongchai Jaidee battled to a 71 to lie in joint 23rd position. The Thai star needs to finish at least in third place tomorrow to have a chance of retaining his Asian number one crown.

Randhawa, who leads the Merit race by US $23,706, said: "I just couldn't buy a putt … I wasn't focussed. I was sure that Arjun and Thongchai were playing well and that added pressure on me. I tried my hardest not to think about them but I couldn't. Tomorrow, I need to keep everything aside and think only of my game."

Thongchai struggled in mid-round but finished strongly with birdies on 16 and 18. But he needs to shoot a low number tomorrow if he is to deny Randhawa from becoming the first Indian winner of the Davidoff Tour Order of Merit.

"I had no luck but it's okay. I still have a chance but I'm not going to think about it. I'm feeling pretty good but you never know what will happen in this game," said the Thai, who posted four birdies against three dropped shots.

Rosales, one of Asia's brightest stars and a former winner of the Philippine Open, is looking for a big pay cheque as an early wedding gift.

"I'm getting married next week, so I need the cash! About 600 to 700 people will attend the wedding. I'm bogey free in the last 36 holes so I'm quite happy with that. I've got nothing to lose. If I play good again tomorrow, I feel I have
a chance to win," said the Filipino, who shot six birdies today.

Mamat posted his second straight 66 in the Volvo Masters of Asia to give himself a shot of securing his first title. A three-putt bogey on 17 was his only blemish in an otherwise superb round.

"I had 20 feet to the hole and it was downhill. But I left my first putt six foot short. After the fasting month recently, I have kept my weight down so I feel great. Also, I hope it means God will give me some strength this week," said Mamat, whose best finish on Tour is second place.

Leading third round scores

203 - Craig Kamps (RSA) 66-68-69, Arjun Singh (IND) 70-65-68
204 - Jim Johnson (USA) 69-67-68
205 - Gerald Rosales (PHI) 71-68-66, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 73-66-66
206 - Kang Wook-soon (KOR) 68-71-67, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 69-67-70,
Anthony Kang (KOR) 68-68-70, Kevin Na (KOR) 69-66-71
207 - Danny Chia (MAS) 68-72-67, Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 69-70-68, Clay Devers
(USA) 69-70-68, Hsieh Yu-Shu (TPE) 70-69-68, Boonchu Ruangkit (THA)
69-69-69, Simon Yates (SCO) 69-68-70, Gary Rusnak (USA) 70-66-71
208 - Ahmad Bateman (USA) 70-71-67, Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 71-69-68, Digvijay
Singh (IND) 67-72-69, Patrik Sjöland (SWE) 68-70-70, Danny Zarate (PHI)
69-68-71, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-68-71
209 - Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 72-69-68, Edward Loar (USA) 69-69-71, Thongchai
Jaidee (THA) 71-67-71, Gustavo Rojas (ARG) 70-68-71, Ted Oh (KOR) 68-69-72
210 - James Oh (KOR) 69-72-69, James Kingston (RSA) 68-72-70, Rick Gibson
(CAN) 70-70-70.

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