New Delhi, Oct 11 (UNI) Ace pro Jeev Milkha Singh and young Ashok Kumar kept Indian hopes alive as they finished joint fifth while China's Lian Wen Chong remained on top at the end of the third and penultimate round of the US One Million Dollar Hero Honda Indian Open Golf here today.
Jeev and Ashok are the only two Indians who figure in the top 10 after day three.
Chandigarh based pro Jeev, who had finished second after the first round with seven under sixty five, squandered the advantage yesterday when he shot two over 74 to slip to the joint 17th slot.
The highest ranked Indian in the tournament, however, recovered considerable ground with a fine display in the third round as he shot four under 68 to take his total to nine under 207 (65, 74, 68).
Local favourite Ashok Kumar slipped from joint third to joint sixth place with his two under par 70 round. He shot birdies on the second, fifth, eighth, 14th, 15th, a bogey on the 18th and a double bogey on the 13th. He has a three day total of nine under 207 (70, 67, 70).
Liang, who set the course record on the opening day with an awesome 12 under 60, managed his second successive one under 71 round to total 14 under 202 (60, 71, 71).
However, his lead was drastically reduced by rampaging Australian Adam Blyth who shot six under 66 to be behind the leader by just a stroke with a score of 203 (70, 67, 66).
Indian born Swede Daniel Chopra, who was second after round two, had a poor day as he returned a two over par 74 card and slipped to the joint 18th place with a total of 6 under par 210.
The three-time winner and defending champion carded one over par and slumped to the joint 55th slot with a three round total of par 216 (74, 69, 73).
Jeev was happy with his showing,''I played rock solid, but I played ahead of myself on the back nine. Three bogeys and three birdies (on the back nine). Overall I was very happy. If I can shoot a five or a seven under I would be right up there tomorrow. I need a good start,'' on his first nine Jeev had two birdies and an eagle.
Ashok also seemed happy,''I really hit the ball well today.
However, my putting was not up to the mark. Had I putted well, I could have been in a much better position. I missed birdie putts on the 16th and 17th and a six feet putt for par on the 18th.'' ''I need to give my 100 per cent tomorrow, play shot by shot. Let us see what happens tomorrow,'' he added.
Giving Jeev and Ashok company was New Zealand's Mark Brown who shot three under 69 for a total of nine under 207 (71, 67, 69).
Brown had early this year won the SAIL Open and Johnnie walker Classic in Noida and Gurgaon.
Nothing went right with Jyoti Randhawa today. He shot four bogeys and three birdies in his round and went down on the leader board.
Australia's Unho Park shot six under 66 and with a total of 204 was placed third and Singapore's Lam Chih Bing, who had a card of 67, was at fourth place with 10 under 206.
Other Indians who played well today were Mukesh Kumar, who returned a card of 68 for 7 under 209 total to be at the joint 14th place along with Gaurav Ghei(69, 69, 71).
Vinod Kumar (72, 69, 69) and Himmat Rai (70, 71, 69) were at joint 18th along with Daniel Chopra.
Sanjay Kumar, who was at the joint sixth place after round two, sliped to the tied 29th slot with a one over 73 round as he totalled five under 211 (66, 72, 73).
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