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Jeev fires bogey-free 8-under 64, lies second at JCB Champs


Determined to erase the memories of missing the cut at last week’s Senior Open, Indian legend Jeev Milkha Singh cracked a sensational bogey-free eight-under 64 to lie second after the first round of the JCB Championship here.

Jeev, in his rookie year as a ‘Senior’, was two shots behind leader South African James Kingston, who was also bogey-free but with eight birdies and an eagle on Par-4 12th.

Two-time US Open winner, Retief Goosen (66) was third and the 2011 Open winner, Darren Clarke, who last week completed the double by taking the Senior Open at the Gleneagles, was sole fourth with 5-under 67. Jeev, who couldn’t get his driver and 3-wood working at Gleneagles, also missed a lot of putts. But here at the JCB Country Club course, he hit well and most of his putts were inside eight feet.

“It felt so good after last week. I thought I came to the Senior Open in good form after third place in Germany, but things did not work out. This is my last start in Europe before I go to the Japan Senior Tour, so I want to do well,” he said.

Jeev opened with two pars and birdied the third. Then he had a birdie-eagle-birdie run to go five-under through seven.

A birdie on ninth meant he turned in six-under and that was followed by yet another birdie to go 7-under. But over the last holes, he cooled off and had only one more birdie on Par-4 15th.

On how the change happened, he added, “My caddie, Neeraj Sareen, who was there at Gleneagles, too, noticed a couple of things and we worked on it. The results were there today and I hope I can carry them for the next two days.” Kingston is in great form this season, having played in eight tournaments so far and recorded six top 20 finishes.

This included a second-place finish at the season-opening tournament the Riegler & Partner Legends and winning the Swiss Seniors Open earlier this month.

Kingston made par on the first two holes, followed by four back-to-back birdies and three pars from seven to nine.

Heading into the back nine, Kingston recorded three birdies and a chip in eagle on the 12th hole, followed by another birdie on 15 to finish the day for a 62.[ie_content_priority_driven exkeyword=”Top, Sports, News, Now” link=”https://indianexpress.com/section/sports/” hlabel=”Top Sports News Now” hlink=”https://indianexpress.com/section/sports/”

Other stars in the field include former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie and Vijay Singh all at T-6 with 69 each. Paul McGinley (70) was at T-12 and Thongchai Jaidee (71) was T-20





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