Jeev blazes into joint lead at US PGA Championship

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Bloomfield, Michigan, Aug 8 (UNI) Ace Indian pro Jeev Milkha Singh vaulted up the leaderboard with a two under 68 as he shot into the joint lead on a weather-hit opening round of the US PGA Championship here.

Jeev shrugged off an ankle problem in an solid round yesterday and was at joint lead with Sweden's Robert Karlsson and Argentine Andres Romero, with each getting scores of two under 68.

While Jeev and Karlsson completed their respective rounds yesterday, Romero was among the 18 golfers who could not complete their rounds due to rain. Romero played 16 holes yesterday.

Jeev began with a bogey on the first hole but came back strongly with an eagle on the par five second hole.

On the second, he had a perfect bounce over a slope and bunker to land his ball within five feet for eagle. The 2006 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner gained another stroke when he birdied the fifth. A bogey followed on the seventh which resulted in the turn at one under.

He began his back nine with a bogey on the 10th, but more than made up for it when he birdied two of the last four holes, the 15th and 17th.

On the 15th, he hit a seven-iron approach shot just 18 inches short of the pin.

The current Austrian Open champion, with a birdie on the par three, had an excellent three-iron tee shot.

He also missed a five footer on the final hole for birdie - set up by another three-iron.

Jeev, who injured a tendon in his right ankle two months ago, said he had few expectations coming this week.

''I was just trying to hit shot-by-shot and hope I can shoot even par,'' he added. ''It worked out pretty good. I'm excited about today's round. I made a lot of up-and-downs and my putting helped me quite a bit.'' Meanwhile another Indian in the fray, Jyoti Randhawa, was six over after having completed only 15 holes yesterday.

Randhawa is currently placed tied 92nd. His first round included birdies on the fourth, 11th, bogeys on the seventh, eighth and double bogeys on the first, sixth and ninth.

Sweden's Daniel Chopra is tied 62nd at four over 74. Chopra birdied the second and 17th and bogeyed the first, eighth, 10th, 14th, 15th and 16th.

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