Randhawa, Jeev stay within striking distance

Updated: Apr 14, 2012, 19:56 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: Indian golfers Jyoti Randhawa and Jeev Milkha Singh kept themselves within striking distance of the title with an impressive performance in the second round at the weather-hit Maybank Malaysian Open on Saturday.

Even as the leader, South African Louis Oosthuizen, hopes to make up for his Masters Tournament heartbreak, Randhawa and Jeev are hoping to end their long title drought.

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, who lost to American Bubba Watson in a play-off in the year`s opening Major, moved to 13-under-par in the US 2.5 million dollar championships through 10 holes of his third round when play was suspended due to a lightning storm in the evening.

Randhawa had as many as six birdies in the 12 holes he had played but he also gave away three bogeys to be three-under for the day and nine-under for the tournament.

He was lying tied sixth. Randhawa, who last won on the Asian Tour in 2009, was the highest placed Asian.

Jeev, who shot a 73 in second round, was two-under through 13 holes and eight-under for the week.

Shiv Kapur (72) was three-under through three rounds and lying tied 31st, while Gaurav Ghei was two-under for the tournament through 17 holes in third round and was even par for the round with one more round to play.

Gaganjeet Bhullar (73-72), Digvijay Singh (73-72), Himmat Rai (73-73), Sujjan Singh (70-76), Chiragh Kumar (76-70), Anirban Lahiri (75-73) and SSP Chowrasia (74-76) missed the cut after second round.

Randhawa was excited about the prospect of ending his title drought.

"It`s been a while, about a year and half since I`ve been in contention in a big event. I guess nerves play a bit. But I was surprised how calm I was and how relaxed I was," said Randhawa.

"I don`t think being four back, you kind of feel the guys will not drop many shots. For me to shoot eight or nine under is asking too much but hey it`s golf. I`m going to be trying my hardest tomorrow," Randhawa said.

Randhawa practiced more than 45 minutes at the range after his second round yesterday, fixing an old flaw in his swing set-up.

"I played better, focusing what I needed to do. I`m surprised I`m quite comfortable despite the pressure that I`m playing in. Made some good putts and missed some small ones as well but that`s okay."

With his father and wife in the crowd, Jeev, stayed on the fringe of contention. He plans to go on an all-out attack tomorrow.

"I`m not out of it. I`m hitting the ball well. It`ll all come down to hitting a few putts tomorrow. I`m feeling pretty good. Let`s see what comes my way," he said. "I`ll surely give it a go tomorrow. Louis is in control.

He showed it last week too. In this game, anything is possible. I`ll be more aggressive tomorrow for sure."

Scotland`s Stephen Gallacher led the chasing pack after negotiating 12 holes of his third round in three under, followed by Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain, England`s Danny Willet and American David Lipsky, all on 10-under in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour event.

The third round will resume at 7.45am tomorrow with the fourth and final round to commence from 8.30am with players remaining in the same groupings.