Jeev clinches Singapore Open

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Singapore, Nov 16 (UNI) Jeev Milkha Singh held his nerves with a nail-biting finish to clinch the five million dollar Singapore Open golf tournament here today.

The Indian star golfer becomes the first Asian Tour player to cross one million dollars with a total of 1,405,607, dollar the highest so far in the history of the Asian Tour.

This is Jeev's third win of the season on a third different Tour.

He won the Bank Austria Golf Open on European Tour and the Nagashima Shigeo Invitational Sega Sammy Cup earlier.

Jeev carded a two-under 69 to finish with a total of seven-under 277 and winner of the first prize of 792,50 dollar which confirms his second Asian Tour Order of Merit besides a whole lot of other landmarks.

''I couldn't have asked for anything better,'' an elated Jeev said and added ''I'm a very fortunate man to win. The golfing gods were on my side.'' Jeev started the day five shots behind leader Chapchai Nirat of Thailand but three birdies on the front nine saw him grab pole position at seven-under par.

Jeev, coming to the 18th tee with a one-shot lead, stayed one ahead as he tapped a par putt from six inches and then waited for his rivals, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els to finish.

Both Harrington and Els narrowly missed their birdie putts, that would have sent them into a play-off with Jeev, leaving him a victor by one shot.

Els moved within a shot of leader Jeev with a birdie at the 16th, but a poor tee-shot on 18 left him with too much to do and the South African's birdie putt came up just short.

Chapchai, who fired a spectacular eagle on the par-four 11th to pull two shots clear of the field on Saturday before fading light forced the players off the course, started the final round at 10-under-par, three ahead of local hope Lam Chih Bing.

However, his challenge crumbled with a succession of bogeys and the stocky Thai slumped to a seven-over par 78 for the final round.

World number three Phil Mickelson also had a disappointing fourth round, which included an ugly triple-bogey eight, and finished the tournament six shots behind the winner, while Singapore's Lam carded a shocking 79.

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