Jeev lies 19th as Woods struggles in Dubai

Updated: Feb 11, 2011, 00:27 AM IST

Dubai: Jeev Milkha Singh had three birdies in the last six holes to bring home a two-under 70 that placed him at tied 19th after the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic golf on Thursday.

The Indian golfer had five birdies against two bogeys for his day’s effort.

Jeev was five behind Rory McIlroy who shot into a two shot lead. The 21-year-old Northern Irishman McIlroy’s opening round of 65 saw him two clear of back-in-form Sergio Garcia.

Shiv Kapur, the other Indian in the fray shot a one-under 71 and was tied 27th, alongwith Tiger Woods, who had a scratchy day. Woods’ 71 came despite a closing eagle.

Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, the World No 1 and 2, shot identical 69 each.

Kaymer, an eight stroke winner in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago and runner-up to Woods on the American’s last appearance in the event in 2008, had the most birdies - six - but also bogeyed the short 15th and had an unfortunate double bogey on the ninth.

The German’s approach, like that of defending champion Miguel Angel Jim?nez and Alvaro Quiros, hit the hospitality units right of the green and shot across into the water.

McIlroy had five successive birdies around the turn and was seven under with three to play, but three-putted the seventh before responding with yet another birdie.