Kuala Lumpur: India’s ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh carded a score four-under 67 and is placed tied 14th on the penultimate day of CIMB Asia Pacific Classic here on Saturday. With an overall total of eight-under 205, the Chandigarh golfer is eight shots behind leader Bon Van Pelt of America.
Not quite happy with his game, Jeev said that he was disappointed with the day. “I played really well but my putter let me down. I think I got ahead of myself. I hit it really well and it’s really disappointing. Tricky greens, and should have been more aggressive with some putts,” he said, adding that he thought he just got ahead of himself. “Thought I could shoot seven-under and ended up with four. Did the same thing yesterday. I think I need to get out of this and stop trying so hard. Just focus on my game and make the most of it,” he said.
“I had a good drive on 18, nine iron on a slope but I didn’t go through on the shot and bogeyed the hole. The game is good. I just need to follow my process and routine and make putts to put a number out there. I’m a bit too far behind now. Just give it a go tomorrow. Top-five will be good, need a six or seven under for that tomorrow,” he said, adding that the conditions were the best today.
“A bit overcast and sun wasn’t out there. Ball was collecting mud but it’s the same for everyone. That’s the decision by the PGA Tour and we stand by it,” he said.
Meanwhile, American Bo Van Pelt overcame a sluggish start to storm into the third round lead at the US$6.1 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic on a day local hero Danny Chia raised the roof at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
Van Pelt bogeyed his opening two holes but showed his class with six birdies to take a one-shot lead from halfway pacesetter Jeff Overton, who battled to a 69 in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson and American Mark Wilson shared third place, three behind Van Pelt, while Chia produced a superb 66 for equal fifth position with playing partner Vijay Singh of Fiji and Jason Dufner of the United States.
An in-form Van Pelt, who notched two top-10s in the recent FedEx Cup play-offs, showed wonderful composure to overcome the worst possible start. The 36-year-old, who has one win on the PGA Tour, said: “I think the biggest thing today is I didn’t make a big deal out of it. So I made two bogeys. It’s not the end of the world. There’s a lot of golf left.
“I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned, experience-wise. As much as golf as I’ve played, in the times I’ve let a bad start lead to a bad round, it was probably when I made too big a deal out of it, got upset or got quicker (in my swing). I think today was just a good example of not making a big deal out of it and trying to hit good golf shots.”
With a top cheque of US$1.3 million at stake tomorrow, Van Pelt said he would be driven by winning a second career title rather than the money in the bank.
“It’s not about the money. Like my grandpa said, you can’t take it with you. It’s never made a big deal to me, I guess,” said Van Pelt.
“Obviously any time you’re near the lead with 18 to go, you’re excited. That’s why we practice and why we enter tournaments. That’s all you can ask for, to have a chance to win on Sunday. It’s exciting, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a while since I won a golf tournament, so it would be great.”
After a course record 62 on day two, Overton managed only three birdies in the third round but none was more important than the six-foot conversion at the last hole.
“On 18, I saw Bo was two up and I thought I needed to get to within one and I know he was swinging it really well. I didn’t want him to get away too far,” said Overton, who is chasing a first career victory.
“Didn’t have the kick in like I had yesterday. It wasn’t my day on the greens … didn’t make anything.”
The former Ryder Cup player was looking forward to a final day duel with Van Pelt. “It’s crazy. We’re from the same state, Indiana and probably the only two players in the field or on Tour from Indiana. To actually come all the way here, a 12 hour time change, halfway around the world to play golf with each other, it’ll be fun,” said Overton.
The story of the day belonged to local favourite Chia. Playing alongside Singh, who is extremely popular in Malaysia, Chia produced some wonderful golf, including four birdies in his last five holes to move within the fringe of contention.
“I didn’t hole any birdies after the one on the third hole and I kept telling myself to stay patient and hopefully the birdies would come. And it really did in the last five holes,” said Chia, who is the first Malaysian winner on the Asian Tour.
“I guess the expectation is building up now. Every day when I begin my round, I don’t really think about the result. I just want to play my golf. I only started looking at the leaderboard on the second last hole and told myself ‘Hey, I still got an outside chance’,” he said.
Scores after round 3 of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia being played at the par 71, 6,917 Yards The Mines Resort GC course:
197 - Bo VAN PELT (USA) 66-64-67.
198 - Jeff OVERTON (USA) 67-62-69.
200 - Mark WILSON (USA) 67-66-67, Fredrik JACOBSON (SWE) 65-64-71.
202 - Jason DUFNER (USA) 70-67-65, Danny CHIA (MAS) 71-65-66, Vijay SINGH (FIJ) 72-64-66.
203 - Ryan PALMER (USA) 71-65-67, Chris KIRK (USA) 71-65-67, Camilo VILLEGAS (COL) 69-66-68.
204 - Jerry KELLY (USA) 69-66-69, Jimmy WALKER (USA) 66-67-71, Stewart CINK (USA) 67-66-71.
205 - Jeev SINGH (IND) 69-69-67, John SENDEN (AUS) 67-70-68, Ben CRANE (USA) 69-68-68, Robert ALLENBY (AUS) 63-72-70, Jhonattan VEGAS (VEN) 64-69-72, Cameron TRINGALE (USA) 66-68-71.
206 - Ricky BARNES (USA) 69-71-66, Brandt SNEDEKER (USA) 71-68-67, Jonathan BYRD (USA) 69-68-69.
207 - Chez REAVIE (USA) 69-71-67, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 68-71-68.
208 - Tommy GAINEY (USA) 68-70-70, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 70-66-72.
209 - Mohd SIDDIKUR (BAN) 68-73-68, Scott STALLINGS (USA) 67-72-70, Kyle STANLEY (USA) 68-69-72, Spencer LEVIN (USA) 70-67-72, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 70-67-72.
210 - Brendon DE JONGE (ZIM) 68-72-70, D.A. POINTS (USA) 71-68-71, Stuart APPLEBY (AUS) 72-67-71.
211 - Rory SABBATINI (RSA) 68-70-73.
212 - Lucas GLOVER (USA) 71-70-71, Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 70-70-72.
213 - Brian DAVIS (ENG) 71-71-71, Carl PETTERSSON (SWE) 68-67-78.
214 - David GLEESON (AUS) 73-71-70, Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN) 70-72-72.
215 - Angel CABRERA (ARG) 73-73-69.
216 - CHAN Yih-shin (TPE) 72-70-74.
217 - Brendan STEELE (USA) 74-73-70, Charley HOFFMAN (USA) 69-73-75.
218 - Ryan MOORE (USA) 71-68-79.
219 - Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 72-72-75.
220 - S.S.P. CHOWRASIA (IND) 75-71-74.