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Gain or loss is the issue

Jeev Milkha Singh's inclusion in the International team for the Presidents Cup could leave Indian golf in a "bittersweet situation". Robin Bose reports.

other Updated: Sep 06, 2009 23:07 IST
Robin Bose

Jeev Milkha Singh's inclusion in the International team for the Presidents Cup could leave Indian golf in a "bittersweet situation".

Come Tuesday and Greg Norman will announce his two-wildcard choices for the side that will take on the US in the October 8-11 event. Jeev is hoping to catch the captain's eye and despite a none-too impressive showing in the Omega European Masters, the world No 43 could well get a chance to turn out at San Francisco's Harding Park Golf Course.

A biennial event, the Presidents Cup is played between a US team and an International team representing the rest of the world less Europe.

Jeev's making the cut would mean that he'd have to miss the Hero Honda Indian Open due to the clash of dates. Making a choice would have been difficult as his affinity for the national championship is well known, but in this case the lure of the Presidents Cup will undoubtedly weigh heavy.

Jeev too did little to hide his preference.

"I would love to get a call from Greg (as per the norm, the skipper calls a player to inform him of his inclusion). I'm sure he'll be looking at how things go here this week. Obviously, it's on my mind but it's his call at the end of the day," he said at the Crans-sur-Sierre, venue of the European Masters.

Free of the intercostal muscle injury that plagued him for a while, Jeev was hoping to press his case with a powerful display, but despite the T49th finish, he is hopeful.

"I finished 12th on the (International) team rankings, the top-10 are in and he (Norman) has two picks. I've never played the Presidents Cup and I'd dearly like to be in after watching all the top players in the world playing in it," he said.

If Norman zeroes in on Jeev, the Indian Open would take a hit. An official of the World Sport Group, which promotes the $1.25 million (Rs 6.1 crore) event, told HT on Sunday: "It's a bittersweet situation. Jeev playing the Presidents Cup will buttress the fact that Indian golf has gone global. But his absence from the Indian Open will certainly take a lot of sheen off it."

Jyoti best Indian on view

Crans Montana: Jyoti Randhawa was the best-placed Indian on the final day of the Omega European Masters. He signed off with a 70 in tied 32nd place while Jeev Milkha Singh, with a disappointing three-over-par 74 for the day, ended tied 49th. Shiv Kapur carded a 73 to be joint 60th.

Sweden's Alex Noren held off a determined challenge from Britain's Bradley Dredge to claim his maiden title. A closing five-under-par 66 for a 20-under 264 four-round total left Noren two strokes better than 2006 champion Dredge (65).