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Woods all praise for Jeev

Woods could not help but sing praises of Jeev, who won the Volvo China Open in April and currently leads the UBS Order of Merit.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 12:03 IST

Last year at the same venue, Tiger Woods was gushing about Arjun Atwal, with whom he has played a few times. And this time it is Jeev Milkha Singh.

In the opening round, Jeev (70) outscored Tiger (72) by two shots to catch the champions golfer by surprise.

Woods could not help but sing praises of Jeev, who has won twice this season, including the Volvo China Open in April and currently leads the UBS Order of Merit.

"I've met Jeev a few times but I've never played with him. What he did at Valderamma, obviously, and what he's doing in Asia, he's having a great year. I think it's just a matter of confidence," Woods said.

"He's playing a lot of golf and he's starting to turn the corner. It's good to see him. I know about him quite a bit and he's such a great guy."

Jeev overcame a hesitant start before going on to shoot a solid two-under-par 72, two better than Woods at Sheshan International Golf Club.

It left Jeev in tied 15th place alongside England's Luke Donald and Australian Scott Strange, and five strokes behind leader and compatriot Jyoti Randhawa, who shot a brilliant error-free seven-under 65.

Jeev said, "I hit a few funky shots today but I guess I was a little bit nervous playing with Tiger. But I settled down pretty good after a few holes. I enjoyed playing with him because I've always had a lot of respect for what he's done for the game."

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 12:03 IST