Randhawa tied third at Volvo Masters

Jyoti Randhawa, playing excellent golf from tee and then on greens, tamed the blustery conditions to move into tied third place at the Volvo Maters.

updated: November 05, 2007 14:44 IST
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Jyoti Randhawa, playing excellent golf from the tee and then on the greens, tamed the blustery conditions to move into an ideal tied third place at the Volvo Masters of Europe.

At Valderrama game Randhawa emulate countryman and defending champion Jeev Milkha Singh.
Randhawa, winner of the Volvo Masters of Europe in 2004, carded a one-under 70 that gave him a total of one-over 141 and a share of the third place.

He is five shots behind sole leader Justin Rose of England who is the only player with a sub-par score at the midway stage. Jyoti improved from overnight tied 12th to tied third.

Jeev Milkha, who stunned European audiences with his win at the same stage last year, had another struggling day when he went through a roller-coaster of a round of three-over 74 that gave him a total of eight-over 150 and a tie for 35th place, one below where he was placed after day one at 34th.

Rose, who shrugged aside a stomach upset and had a hole-in-one in the first round, seemed to have taken a handy four-shot lead over European No 1 last year, Padraig Harrington of Ireland.

Rose is now four-under 138 at Spain's Costa del Sol and could well be headed towards winning the Harry Vardon Trophy for European Order of Merit.

Randhawa had a birdie on the fourth, but he gave that away with a bogey on ninth. Back to back birdies on 10th and 11th gave him some momentum, but thereafter the birdie putts just did not fall. Lying at even for the tournament, Randhawa ran into a late bogey on the long 17th that moved him to one-over par for two rounds.

Harrington, slightly ahead of Rose in money, shot a second straight 71 to move to second place, a stroke ahead of four players tied for third place -- Miguel Angel Jim nez of Spain (70), Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark (70), first round leader Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (75) and Randhawa.

Rose and Harrington are locked in a close battle for the Order of Merit honours even as leader Ernie Els was playing in Singapore this week.

Rose, who is a mere ($965) behind Harrington seemed to have overcome all problems arising out of the severe stomach upset the day before. Rose reached the turn in one over par with two birdies and three bogeys, struck a purple patch as he as he had three birdies in four holes from the 10th to 13th and then added a fourth birdie for the stretch when he holed a curling 25-footer on the long 17th hole.

The tournament officials meanwhile agreed to cut the rough inside spectator ropes slightly to make up for the strong winds that are expected over the weekend.