Durban: Jeev Milkha Singh rolled in a crucial four-footer to keep his tied fourth place at the midway stage of the season-opener Volvo Golf Champions here Friday.
After nine straight pars on the front nine, Jeev had three birdies and one bogey on the back nine to finish at two-under 70 for the day and move to five-under 139 for 36 holes.
But up ahead of him, local favourite Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, shot a stunning eight-under 64 and moved into sole lead, pushing overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee (68) to joint second place alongside Scott Jamieson (64).
Jeev had a big crowd for company in tied fourth alongside Thomas Bjorn (70), Shane Lowery (70), Julien Quesne (67) and Danny Willett 70).
Jeev, the only player in the field to log nine straight pars, birdied the 10th to move into red figures for the day. A second birdie on 14th saw him get to two-under, but a bogey on par-3 15th set him back before the Indian ace, a four-time winner on European Tour and the reigning Scottish Open champion, pulled back a birdie on 18th to keep himself in position for a good start to the season.
Earlier in the morning, it rained incessantly and resulted in a delay of almost two hours.
But Jamieson, who five weeks ago captured the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa at Royal Durban, birdied four of the first six holes at Durban Country Club to join Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee on seven under.
Jamieson, 29, may well, have seen the rain as a good omen, for he won the Mandela tournament when it was reduced to 36 holes.
Jaidee resumed with three pars in a row and also had playing partner Louis Oosthuizen to worry about, as the latter birdied the third and fourth to be only one back. Oosthuizen, by the end of the day, moved into sole lead at 12-under with five birdies on the front nine and then another on 13th before closing the day birdie-birdie for a 64.
Jamieson had nine birdies against one bogey on par-4 11th. Thongchai had an eagle on eighth, three other birdies and a bogey on ninth.
Current Open Champion Ernie Els picked up a shot as well on the 511 yard third, but then bogeyed the short fourth. Two other birdies and two bogeys on next five holes saw him finish the day at 72 and stay at four-under for 36 holes.
For the second round only the players had an amateur partner in each group - they were finalists in the Volvo World Challenge - and the professionals in the winning team each receive a car for their efforts.
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