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Fairway to heaven

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 02:01 IST

Jeev Milkha Singh capped a brilliant year by lifting the Volvo Masters of Europe at the Club de Golf Valderrama here.

Jeev carded a one-over 72 to pocket a cheque of Euros 666,660 (around Rs 3.84 crore), the biggest by any Indian in an individual sport.

The win moves Jeev inside the top-20 in Europe and also the top-100 in the world rankings.Jeev, who earlier this year reignited his career by winning the Volvo China Open in Beijing, also became the first Asian to win an European Tour title in Europe.

Jeev's total of two-under 282 gave him a one-shot win over three of Europe's finest talents, Luke Donald (69), Sergio Garcia (72) and Padraig Harrington (69), all of whom finished at one-under 283. Jeev finished with rounds of 71, 71, 68 and 72.

“It is a great feeling. It all started with the Volvo China Open and I am happy I could do it again. This is really a big win,” said Jeev.

“I never looked at the scoreboard the whole day and saw it only on the 18th, when I realised I had a two-shot lead. I lagged the first putt and then tapped in for a five (bogey),” he said.

Meanwhile, Padraig Harrington’s tied second place finish helped him win the European Order of Merit Title.

Harrington's finish got him enough cash to overtake Englishman Paul Casey, his Ryder Cup teammate, for the Order of Merit.

Casey finished outside the top 20 at Valderrama after struggling with a virus and a bout of food poisoning.

Harrington started the day four shots behind Singh as he, David Howell and Robert Karlsson all tried to put enough space between themselves and Casey to succeed Colin Montgomerie as the top European PGA Tour golfer. The Irishman succeeded.

The 34-year-old Jeev meanwhile birdied the 17th with a magnificent six-iron second to 12 feet which gave him the luxury of dropping a shot at the last and still holding on for a one shot win over Harrington, Garcia and Donald.