Jeev, Jyoti placed tied 3rd after first round

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Jeju Island, Korea, Mar 13 (UNI) Overcoming a bad flu bout, India's Jeev Milkha Singh along with compatriot Jyoti Randhawa remained on target for title as Finland's Mikko Ilonen and Australia's Tony Carolan fired identical five under-par 67 to emerge joint first round leader at the Ballantine's Championship at the Pinx Golf Club here today.

Both Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa carded 4 under par 68 each first round and were at tied third place.

The story of the day however, belonged to Jeev as he demonstrated how the strength of the human spirit was able to triumph above everything else, overcoming the trauma and pain of a freak buggy accident during a pro-am tournament in Kuala Lumpur last week.

''We saw the tree and I told my caddie to brake but instead of braking, he pressed the accelerator and we hit it head on.

''I went flying through the windscreen, hit my head and lucky the windscreen was plastic and not glass, if not I wouldn't know what would have happened,'' recalled Jeev, who is also nursing the effects of a flu bout this week.

''I had a little bit of concussion. I fell out of the buggy and I haven't been feeling too good after that,'' he added.

Jeev, however, is looking forward to this week with renewed vigour and is determined to get his game back on track.

Starting at the 10th tee, he came out of the blocks with three successive birdies in his first four holes before closing at the turn with a double bogey.

The 36-year-old however, bounced back with three successive birdies after the turn to complete a remarkable day.

''It wasn't a good week last week but it's a new week and I had a good start. That's all that matters now,'' the Indian ace added.

Jyoti hit a double bogey on the second but fired birdies six birdies - 4th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 18th - to finish the day with 68.

Two other Indians in the fray - Gaurav Ghei and Shiv Kapur - were lying way down the leader board.

Ghei with par 72 round (two birdies, two bogeys) was at joint 63rd place while Shiv Kapur with two over 74 (two birdies, four bogeys) was at joint 98th place.

The tournament marquee name, Padraig Harrington had a slow start to the tournament, mixing three birdies and an equal number of bogeys to finish on 71.


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