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‘Living a dream’, Jeev Milkha Singh set to tee off in own event

As ubiquitous as it is to see an Indian among top golfers in the world now competing with the best, when Jeev turned pro, it was a rarity. Into his third decade as a top flight golfer, Jeev Milkha Singh will play host as well as compete in the event named after him — a first for Indian golf.

other sports Updated: Oct 30, 2018 20:18 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jeev Milkha Singh,Golf,Chandigarh Golf Club
Jeev milkha Singh turned Pro in 1993.(HT Photo)

An apt honour is the consensus as the Chandigarh Golf Club gets ready to host the Rs.1.5 crore Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational tournament presented by TAKE Solutions from November 1 to 4.

As ubiquitous as it is to see an Indian among top golfers in the world now competing with the best, way back in 1993, when Jeev turned pro, it was a rarity. Into his third decade as a top flight golfer, Jeev will play host as well as compete in the event named after him — a first for Indian golf.

“It’s a dream come true for me. I am humbled by the gesture. I have played in tournaments in the USA which have been named after legends like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and I feel it’s an ultimate honour for a sportsperson to have a tournament in his name,” Jeev said while sitting on the dais along with SSP Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur and Panasonic Open winner Khalin Joshi.

For Kapur, who has shared numerous ups and downs with Jeev, the veteran golfer is an icon and a long time friend. “I have had the honour and privilege to play with him. I see him as a friend and guiding force. We have a lot of memories on tour and I am looking forward to playing this event,” Kapur said.

During his day, Jeev charted a course through the unknown in Indian golf. For his efforts Jeev has the rare distinction of being the only Indian to have won the Asian Tour Order of Merit twice (2006 and 2008). He has won multiple titles on the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour and has 14 Major appearances to his name. He also achieved a career-high world ranking of 28, which is an Indian record.

Fresh from his win in Delhi last week, Joshi said growing up Jeev was an inspiration to all golfers in the country, including him.

Reminiscing his days when playing a round of golf at CGC everyday was a must, Jeev said he remembered watching the tapes of British Open and other Majors weeks after the events were over.

“I remember seeing a particular chip or putt which ultimately won the title for the player and then trying and emulating it on course. For me, that was training, hoping and dreaming of being part of the elite golfers. I would say I have achieved 60 percent of what I set out for, the rest 40 needs to come quickly. In Delhi, my first two rounds were good, but then my mind started playing tricks and it all went downhill. I feel I have it in me to win again,” Jeev said.

First Published: Oct 30, 2018 20:18 IST