Refreshed Jeev hopes for good start to 2008 at Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi : The weather here may not have been all that clear last few days, but Jeev Milkha Singh’s goals for the year are. Even as torrential rains continued to beat down in the region, preparations have continued at the lovely Abu Dhabi Golf Club for the $2.5 million Abu Dhabi Golf Championships on the European Tour.

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Meanwhile, Jeev’s journey back into the world’s elite top-50 of world golf begins this week at the $ 2.5 million Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, where the Indian ace begins his 2008 season. Teeing off on Thursday, Jeev has a clear goal ahead of himself of getting back into the world’s top-50 and get a ticket into the Majors.

“Playing all four Majors last year was the highlight of my career, and that’s where I want to be again. In terms of results, last year was very modest, in fact poor, as compared to what I did in 2006,” said Jeev, who tees off with former British Open champion, Paul Lawrie and March Warren in the first round Thursday.

Jeev, who recently got married to his childhood friend, Kudrat, said, “The marriage is an emotional anchor which I feel everybody needs. And I am also very fresh with this break over the year-end. I had intended to open the season with the Royal Trophy, but it was unfortunately postponed because of a death in the Royal family in Thailand.”

“Now I start with Abu Dhabi and play through four weeks in a row, running through three weeks in Middle East and then the Indian Masters in Delhi.”

After four wins in 2006 – the finest year of his career – Jeev managed only a handful of top-10s in2007. “I played well towards the end in Japan and I was also happy with the way I played at the Masters and US Open,” he said. “Now I want to get back to the Masters and for that I must start well. Yet, I am not going to put pressure on myself.”

A great believer in process more than results, Jeev feels he has been playing well and it is only a matter of time before he is contending. “I felt the same way in 2006, and then suddenly I was contending every week,” he recalled.

Playing alongside Jyoti Randhawa and Shiv Kapur, the other two standard bearers of Indian golf on the European Tour, Jeev is also looking forward to golfing in India twice next month.

“To be able to play in two big events in India within a space of a month is great. The EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters and Johnnie Walker Classic are two great events, which will take Indian golf to a new level. With a lot of Indian players also getting a chance to play with the best in the business, I will not be surprised if some new faces of Indian golf also make a mark,” said Jeev.