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Jeev in third spot

Bangkok: Birthday boy Jeev Milkha Singh shot a six-under 66 to move into tied third place after the second round of the $ 650,000 Volvo Masters of Asia golf tournament here on Friday.

The fine card saw Jeev, celebrating his 35th birthday, finish the round at six-under 138, two shots behind leader Thongchai Jaidee.

Jeev, who had a modest 72 in the first round, said he was sharper on the course and putted very well.

``It is a nice birthday gift with a 66 today, so I will take that. I did not hit the ball too good but I putted great today. I am happy with the way I came back (from my opening 72),'' said Jeev who has won on his last two starts in Japan.

``I was sharp on the golf course. I did not miss the greens on the wrong side today and when I did I made some good up and downs,'' said Jeev.

Thai star Thongchai took the halfway lead with a four-under-par 68. Thongchai, winner of the event in 2003, overcame an early slip in his second round at Thai Country Club before roaring across the finish line with his seven-birdie round in the Asian Tour's season finale.

Compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant showed he was determined to sign the year off as Asia's number one on a winning note, carding a bogey-free 65 for second place, one behind Thongchai.

While Jeev made the big move up, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia, India's new star this season, shot a second successive two-under 70 and moved into ninth place.

Shiv Kapur and Jyoti Randhawa, the last two winners of this tournament, carded three-under 69 each — both had a 72 on first day — to come into the frame at three-under 141 and in tied 15th place.

Amandeep Johl, 14th overnight, slipped with a five-over 77 and was tied 46th at three-over 147 while Gaurav Ghei (76) was five-over 149 in tied 53rd. Rahil Gangjee made some improvement with a 72 after his first day 79, and he was tied 56th. — PTI

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