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Jeev breaks seven-year jinx to win Volvo China Open

By Staff
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Beijing, Apr 16 (UNI) Seasoned golfer Jeev Milkha Singh ended a seven-year title drought winning the 1.8 million-dollar Volvo China Open by a single stroke here today.

The 34-year-old Indian, who started the day at tied second today, returned a modest two-under 70 card to edge past Gonzalo Fdez-Castano of Spain by a single stroke. Jeev aggregated 10-under 278 to win his first title in seven years.

''I just can't explain this feeling, it's been a long seven years,'' Singh said later.

Jeev, who started the day with a bogey and ended it in a similar fashion, fired four birdies in between, which were enough to win him the title and a prize money of 3,00,000 dollars.

The win is also likely to push him several notches up the UBS Order of Merit. Jeev said he started the day without any expectations so as to avoid disappointment if he didn't win.

''I've let so many tournaments go in the last few years and went in to today with reverse psychology, thinking that if I didn't win it didn't matter,'' he said.

Jeev's closest rival, Fernandez-Castano's bogeyed the last hole, which gave away the advantage to the 34-year-old Indian and the Spaniard said he was disappointed on missing out on a playoff with Jeev.

''It was a shame about the drive on the 18th which cost a bogey because...I would have liked to have parred it to put pressure on Singh,'' Fernandez-Castano said.

The Spaniard finished with a total of nine-under 279 after a one-under final round. ''When I saw my competitor bogey the 18th, I decided to play it safe and not even go for the flag,'' Singh said while talking about Fernandez-Castano's dropped shot.

Overnight leader David Lynn (280) of England fired four bogeys and three birdies to end the day at three-over and finish third.

''I feel I have let this one slip to be honest,'' he said adding, ''I was trying to be patient but on the back nine, crunch time, I got a dose of the three putts at the wrong time.'' Defending champion Paul Casey had a level-par final round to end up tied fourth on the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, among the other Indians in the fray, Amandeep Johl jumped 25 places to finish tied 20th with a four-day total of two-under 286. Harmeet Kahlon (294) and Rahil Gangjee (295) finished over-par to end up at tied 54th and tied 60th respectively.

UNI XC DH/PM RN1605

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