Randhawa slides to tied eighth in Europe


Valderrama (Spain) : Jyoti Randhawa’s rhythm worked in patches, as he first overcame a difficult start before finding some solace midway through the third round at the 2007 Volvo Masters of Europe. But that was only to give it back on the return journey as he carded a three-over 74 that saw him slip from overnight tied third to eighth.

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Randhawa, at four-over 217, is now eight behind the leader England’s Justin Rose (71).

His compatriot and defending champion Jeev Milkha Singh had a birdie on the third and later one more on 14th, but in between he had four bogeys and a late one on 17th to slide to three-over and at 11-over he is tied 29th, still an improvement on his midway 35th place.

With the course playing tough and just Rose under par, even over par rounds are seeing players make a move up.

Randhawa started in a rather disappointing manner with three bogeys in first seven holes on third, fifth and seventh. Back to back birdies suggested a revival in fortunes, only to see the former Asia No. 1 drop two more bogeys on 12th and the closing hole 18th.

Randhawa’s accuracy of the tee was at its best in three days, but the windy conditions did take a small toll on the fairways. Yet finding nine of the greens in regulation, he was well off, but his putter ran cold and he needed 29, including a three-putt bogey.

Rose had a horrendous start giving away three shots in the first two holes of his third round. That meant his main rival Padraig Harrington of Ireland was inching closer and the four-shot lead was suddenly gone. But Rose recovered fast and by the 11th, he had made up for he early lapses and by the end of the day he was once again four ahead of Harrington, who played patchy golf for a third straight 71.

Harrington is tied second with another Englishman in Simon Dyson, who could have come closer to Rose. But Dyson, another former Asian Tour No. 1, three putted for par on the 17th and had a bogey on 18th, for a 69, that could have been a lot better. He had seven birdies, including four of them on all four par-3 holes.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer (66), a frontrunner for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award, is fourth place on 216. His 66 was the best of the week.

Rose’s bogey on first and Harrington’s birdie on the same hole saw the four-shot lead become half of that. Then Rose had a double on second and the pair was a level. Then it was Harrington who found water on the fifth to bogey and Rose got a par. Birdie on the next by Harrington put them level but three birdies in the four holes soon after that saw Rose move into pole again.

Rose can also take the Order of Merit if he just wins the title.