Season’s best start for Jeev with five-under 65


Jakarta : Jeev Milkha Singh opened and closed the round with a bunch of birdies to register his best start of the year with a five-under 65 in the first round of the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open Thursday.

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The former Asia No. 1 from Chandigarh was lying third after the morning session, which saw Australia’s David Branson and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands set the early pace. Branson and Luiten charged into a share of the early first-round lead with six-under 64 each.

Also starting fairly well were Jyoti Randhawa (68) and Shiv Kapur (69) in the morning. Four other Indians – Arjun Atwal (four-under through 12), Gaurav Ghei (three-under nine), Rahil Gangjee and Amandeep Johl – were still on course.

Jeev, who missed the cut last week in the inaugural EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters, handled the wet and windy conditions at the Cengkareng Golf Club very well to ensure a fine start.

Jeev teed off from the tenth and after a par on his first hole, he had three birdies in a row from 11th to go three-under after four holes. He maintained the tempo and did not drop a shot through the back stretch of the course.

His first blemish was the bogey at third. But he quickly recovered and had three birdies in his last three holes to come back with a five-under 65.

Asian Tour’s number one, Liang Wen-chong of China, Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Argentina’s Juan Abbate all shot 65s at the $1.2 million co-sanctioned event between the Asian Tour and European Tour.

Liang’s early season form also got off to a good start when he came out of the blocks with four birdies on the front nine before closing with a total of seven birdies against two bogeys.

Play was suspended for 50 minutes due to heavy rain at 7.08 a.m.