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Bogey-hit Atwal at tied 38th

Toronto: Vijai Singh carded a two-under 70 to grab a share of the third-round lead with Australia's Gavin Coles at the Houston Open Saturday, putting the Fijian in position to become the first repeat winner of the $ 5 million event.

Champion Singh, who held the first-round lead after a course record-tying 64, made a ragged start with bogeys on four and six, but the world number two recovered with a birdie on eight and three more on the back nine to finish on 11-under 205.

Indian Arjun Atwal's bogeyman was around on the greens again, sweeping his two third-round birdies (sixth and 12th holes) with three bogeys (fifth, 15th and 17th) and a double bogey on the 18th.

He was a decent 35 out, but returned for 40. He has had 12 birdies in the three rounds so far, and eight bogies (not to mention the double bogey). He is now tied at 38th spot.

'I just told myself to keep going,' Vijai Singh said of his poor start. 'I was playing well, I just had to be patient and play my shots when they came along. The birdie on eight really helped settle things down.

Coles appeared comfortable alongside the big guns on the elite circuit, mixing three birdies with two bogeys on the front nine before ending with nine successive pars for a 71 at the Redstone Golf Club.

Singh and Coles are a stroke clear of Britain's Greg Owen, who bogeyed his final two holes to also complete a two-under-par round of 70 for a 206 total. (Reuters)

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