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Jeev in joint lead at European Open

Overnight leader Jeev Milkha Singh clung on despite increasingly windy conditions to share a seven-way lead on seven-under par midway through the third round of the European Open.

india Updated: May 31, 2009 00:32 IST

Overnight leader Jeev Milkha Singh clung on despite increasingly windy conditions to share a seven-way lead on seven-under par midway through the third round of the European Open on Saturday.

Indian Singh had completed nine holes and was tied with Britons Anthony Wall and Steve Webster, Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, Frenchmen Christian Cevaer and Michael Lorenzo-Vera, plus Australian Marcus Fraser, all of whom were still out on the course.

One clubhouse leader on six-under par was Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who registered a four-under par 68 for a total of (210).

The other was Briton Chris Wood, chasing his first tour victory after he turned pro on the back of his outstanding performance at the 2008 British Open where he finished tied fifth.

Early starter Soren Hansen profited from the calmer conditions to post the day’s best score of five-under (67), a welcome return to form for the Dane who is without a top-10 finish this season.

Spanish world number four Sergio Garcia, the highest ranked player in the field, again found water off the 18th tee and his triple-bogey seven left him two-over for the tournament.

“I’m making a lot of cuts but nothing really happens,” said Hansen after his round in scorching conditions at the London Club, which left him five-under for the tournament (211).

Hansen followed up his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with two top-10s at the tail end of 2008, to end in 14th place in the order of merit.

Since then, however, the Dane has found the going tough. “This year’s been so-so,” he said. “I just have to stay patient.”

Hansen added that getting back to another Ryder Cup was the top of his priority list, unlike Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy who earlier this month called the event an ‘exhibition’.

“The Ryder Cup is fantastic,” he said. “I want to be back there next time.”

Kapur, Randhawa slip

The other Indians in fray, Shiv Kapur and Jyoti Randhawa were, however, unable to cope with the tough conditions and went over-par to drop down the title race.

While Randhawa carded a 73, Kapur was a stroke worse turning in a 74.

Randhawa was tied for the ninth spot with a total of five-under 139 after stumbling to four bogeys against three birdies.

Kapur, meanwhile, was tied 14th with a total of three-under 141.