Singh Seizes Control

Sat 19 Feb 2011

Singh Seizes Control

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New Delhi, India, February 19: India’s Jeev Milkha Singh moved closer to winning his first home title after firing a five-under-par 67 to take the second round lead at the Avantha Masters on Saturday morning.
Singh, who was Asia’s number one in 2006 and 2008, was seven-under through 11 holes when play had to be halted due to darkness on Friday. The Indian quickly resumed his title charge with three birdies and a lone bogey in his last seven holes to move above overnight clubhouse leader Rafael Cabrera-Bello of Spain on nine-under-par 135 total.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee dropped two shots in his last four holes but managed to recover quickly with two birdies in his closing two holes to take a share of second place with Cabrera-Bello and South Africa's JBE Kruger on 136 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and India’s Shiv Kapur are among the five players in tied-fifth and they trail Singh by two on 137 at the €1.8 million (approximately US$2.3 million) showpiece which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
As two of Asia’s biggest golfing superstar fight for supremacy against a stellar field from Europe this week, Kiradech is hoping that he can emerge as a dark horse to win his maiden title at the 2011 Asian Tour season curtain raiser event.
The burly Thai, a two-time World Junior Champion, has been a figure of consistency, missing only two cuts and enjoying four top-10s in the 13 events he played in last season.
However, it is still that first win that has eluded him and Kiradech signalled his intent of entering the winner’s circle by beginning his round with birdies on holes 10th and 11th.
The 22-year-old added another birdie on the par-five 18th to reach the turn in 33. He then went on to mark his card with four birdies against two bogeys in his inward nine
“I’ve been very consistent with my play especially with my driving the last two days. I’ve been hitting a lot with my wedge and getting several shots very close to the pins,” said Kiradech.
“Overall I’m pleased with how I’ve played so far. I had a good feeling when I went back to the course this morning. I knew that I had 25 more holes to play today but I was already mentally prepared for it,” added the Thai who was among the 66 players who had to complete their first round in the morning due to the fog delay on the opening day.
Kapur who started his round tied for 44th made one of the biggest moves of the day and quickly credited his coach for turning his game around.
“The 30-minute break between the finish of the first round and the start of the second round did a world of good. I spend some time with my coach (Jamie Gough) and we found something that helped me through the second round,” said Kapur who had a flawless round that was highlighted by seven birdies.
Kapur’s lone Asian Tour win came in 2005 but his wait for his second victory would not be too long if he continues to place his trust in his coach.
“After that small session with Jamie, things came together. I hit a lot of good shots and good putts, which came close or shaved the hole. There were no putts that didn’t have a chance. I could easily have been 10 or 11 under, but I suppose that can be said for everyone if all their putts fall too,” added Kapur.

The cut was set at even-par with a total of 81 players going into the final two rounds.

For further information, please contact Asian Tour’s Calvin Koh at the Avantha Masters media centre on +911 244 752 851.