Jacquelin Takes Charge at Emaar-MGF Indian Masters

Sat 09 Feb 2008

Jacquelin Takes Charge at Emaar-MGF Indian Masters

New Delhi, February 9: Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin battled the gusting winds at the Delhi Golf Club for a one-stroke lead over the field at the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters on Saturday.
Jacquelin posted an eagle at the 14th hole on the way to an even-par 72 under tricky conditions in the third round at the US$2.5 million event. Overnight leader Damien McGrane of Ireland stumbled to a 75 and slid to joint second spot alongside compatriot Graeme McDowell who shot a 73 and Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara who improved with a 71.

India?s Arjun Atwal posted a 72 while compatriot S.S.P Chowrasia enjoyed his second straight 71 as the duo were firmly in contention in a tie for fifth position two strokes off the pace. South African Hendrik Buhrmann shot a 75 and was among those in tied seventh spot in the Asian Tour and European Tour event.

Jacquelin, who won in Shanghai last year, endured mix feelings heading into the final round after having carded an eagle, one birdie against three bogeys.

"It's always good to be on top of the leaderboard, and of course I'm happy to be there. I'm just a little disappointed with the way I putted today. I didn't hole any, except for one on the 14th hole, to make a good eagle. But the rest was really poor on the greens. So that's why I'm a little bit disappointed but pleased to be up there.

"When you look at the leaderboard, it shows that the course was difficult to play. It was really tricky today. I was just concentrating on my game as usual, and just trying to put it in play from the tee, because that's really the key of this golf course, especially into the wind," said the 34-year-old Frenchman.

Spain?s Lara was pleased with his round of 71 firing a lone birdie for the day while Chowrasia had an enjoyable run on course playing alongside partner Atwal.
"The conditions were pretty tough and very windy so that's why I'm quite happy with my score. I started off well with a birdie on the first and the third and I turned at two-under. I dropped shots on the 10th, which was a double-bogey and 15th hole. I then three-putted the last hole for a bogey, but I am happy with my overall performance,? said Chowrasia, who shot three birdies on the back nine. He had previously finished in the top-10 at the Hero Honda Indian Open on the same course last year.
"It was good to play with Arjun. I've played with him before, but this time I was playing after a very long time and he's a very good person and a fun guy to play with," added the Calcutta-born golfer.
Compatriot and former Asian number one Atwal, who was even-par for the day, is determined to make an immediate impact upon his return to home soil after having spent most of his golfing career in United States for the past four years.

"I've struggled so badly in the last year and a half, so I'm happy to be in contention.
"If I can keep putting, I will be in contention again and again, I know I'll probably pull through because I've won before and I know how to win," said Atwal, a six-time winner in Asia.

"He's (Chowrasia) a great guy. I know him from Calcutta. He finished second to me at the Indian Open the year I won (1999) and known him ever since. He's a great kid and such a good, solid game. He really played well today," added Atwal.

South African star Ernie Els posted his best round of 69 and rose to tied 10th place four strokes back alongside India's Digvijay Singh and Gaurav Ghei who posted a 74 and 70 respectively. Jyoti Randhawa shot a 75 in joint 23rd position.

Leading third round scores

210 - Raphael Jacquelin (FRA) 69-69-72
211 - Damien Mcgrane (IRL) 67-69-75, Graeme Mcdowell (NIR) 69-69-73, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 68-72-71
212 - Arjun Atwal (IND) 70-70-72, S.S.P Chowrasia (IND) 70-71-71
213 - Hendrik Buhrmann (RSA) 69-69-75, Maarten Lafeber (NED) 69-71-73, Ross Mcgowan (ENG) 72-71-70
214 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN) 68-72-74, Benn Barham (ENG) 69-71-74, Digvijay Singh (IND) 70-70-74, Ross Bain (SCO) 71-71-72, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 75-69-70, Ernie Els (RSA) 75-70-69
215 - Henrik Nystrom (SWE) 70-71-74
216 - Mark O'Meara (USA) 69-73-74, Joakim Haeggman (SWE) 74-69-73, Martin Wiegele (AUT) 75-68-73, Simon Yates (SCO) 70-74-72, Adam Blyth (AUS) 74-71-71
Andrew Coltart (SCO) 76-69-71

217 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 65-77-75

220 - Darren Clarke (NIR) 72-69-79

221 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 71-74-76


About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Sofitel (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner) and ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.

For further information, please contact Asian Tour?s Shenton Gomez at the EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters media centre at +91 11245 01197.