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Eventful round for Digvijay

Special Correspondent

GURGAON: Digvijay Singh produced an eventful round of six-under 66 and opened a four-stroke lead after the penultimate round of the Rs. 25-lakh Airtel Masters golf tournament at the Classic Golf Resort here on Thursday.

After carding his best score in three days, Digvijay took his tally to 13-under 203. The closest to the leader was the duo of `rookie' Shiv Kapur and Vishal Singh. Kapur matched Digvijay's card while Vishal shot a 69 to reach 207.

First-day leader Gaurav Ghei slipped to the tied-sixth place. Even as Mukesh Kumar and Ashok Kumar showed no signs of gaining ground, Jeev Milkha Singh produced a 67, dotted with six birdies and a final-hole `eagle' to climb to the joint 14th place.

Digvijay later said that he slept for just four hours last night after having driven 70 kilometres to reach Ghaziabad, in Uttar Pradesh, to watch the premier of Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi starring his sister Tina (wife of golfer Jyoti Randhawa). He found an `eagle' and four birdies for a front-nine 30. But on the way back, he dropped a shot on either side of two successive birdies. In fact, the bogey on the 17th came after Digvijay sank a 15-foot putt. Strangely, he dropped a shot on the 11th for the third day in succession.

"My sister told me to just go out and enjoy your walk," said Digvijay who could not sustain the good start. "My chipping and putting were fine. But my driving was not so good. I need to change the shaft of my driver after event," said Digvijay who hit 13 greens in regulation today besides 24 putts, the lowest in three days.

Kapur, who called himself a "some kind of a comeback kid," covered a lot of ground after sinking eight birdies. "My hitting is much better. I could have rolled in a few more putts. But then, that's what every golfer thinks at the end of each round. No complains," said Kapur, who produced some long putts on this day.

Kapur two-putted for birdie from 60 feet on the ninth hole and sank a 20-footer on the 16th. His two bogeys on the day came on the 11th and 17th after he missed putts from 20 and 10 feet after hitting the front bunkers on both holes.

Like Kapur, Vishal also dropped shots on the 11th and 17th holes. But his five birdies, including three on the back nine gave him another fine card. Vishal, who finished joint runner-up in the DDA Open in New Delhi last week, is looking to win his first title on the Tour since 1998.

The scores: Digvijay Singh (68, 69, 66) 203; Shiv Kapur (71, 70, 66), Vishal Singh (71, 67, 69) 207; Sanjay Kumar (73, 69, 67) 209; Vijay Kumar (70, 72, 68) 210; Sandeep Syal (71, 71, 69), Rahul Ganapathy (70, 70, 71), Gaurav Ghei (66, 72, 73) 211; C. Muniyappa (77, 67, 68), Vikrant Chopra (A) (72, 70, 70), Ajeetesh Sandhu (A) (73, 68, 71), S. Madaiah (72, 69, 71), Harinder Gupta (70, 70, 72) 212; Rafick Ali (71, 76, 66), Jeev Milkha Singh (73, 73, 67), Arjun Singh (75, 70, 68), Ranjit Singh (72, 73, 68), Dinesh Kumar (74, 70, 69), Vinod Kumar (71, 70, 72) 213; A. S. Lehal (74, 72, 68), Gaganjit Bhullar (A) (69, 77, 68), Pappan (74, 71, 69), Ali Sher (71, 74, 69) 214; Amritinder Singh (73, 75, 67), Rohit Chaudhary (74, 71, 70), Ashok Kumar (74, 70, 71), Yusuf Ali (72, 71, 72) 215; S. S. P. Chaurasia (74, 73, 69), Amardip Sinh (71, 76, 69), Vivek Bhandari (73, 73, 70), Mukesh Kumar (73, 72, 71), Jaiveer Virk (73, 71, 72) and Mohammad Islam (71, 71, 74) 216.

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