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Pleasure in pain for Jeev

other Updated: Jul 28, 2008 00:45 IST
Vinod Kumar
Vinod Kumar
Hindustan Times
Jeev Milkha Singh

Jeev Milkha Singh’s right foot might have been bothering him for quite some time, but on Sunday, the Indian ace put the pain behind him and produced an inspirational performance to win the Nagashima Shigeo Invitational Sega Sammy Cup in Japan.

The 36-year-old Jeev trailed Sushi Ishigaki by four shots prior to the final round but came back strongly to grab the title, his second of the season. He shot a six-under 66 with three birdies in the closing four holes and totalled 13-under 275.

“I knew that I had to shoot six or seven under if I had to give myself any chance of winning,” Jeev told HT from Japan. The Indian golfer and Sushi Ishigaki were tied at 12 under but Jeev turned things in his way with a birdie that he converted from twenty feet on the last hole.

“In the last round I sunk as many as seven birdies, but the birdie on the last hole was the decisive one. It was good enough to help me get the numbers I was looking for,” he said.

Jeev, however, was not confident of wining at the start of the final round. In the past few tournaments, Jeev has been unable to capitalise on good starts and that preyed on his mind. “This year I have squandered some good starts and it was on my mind. But I was determined to do well. I tried and it happened,” he added.

Jeev, who pushed through the pain barrier and fought hard for the title is satisfied with his efforts. “It feels special to win a title, especially when you are carrying an injury. My foot was bothering me, but I pushed hard and I am very happy with my efforts,” Jeev said.

With this win, Jeev now has three triumphs on Japan Tour. His two previous wins on Japan Tour came in 2006 when he won Golf Nippon Series JT Cup and Casio World Open.

Talking about his right foot injury, Jeev said: “I have been advised to take rest, but unfortunately I can’t afford to do this. Like I did in this tournament, I will not play the practice round in the upcoming tournaments as well to give my self some time to recover.”