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Optimistic Jeev looks forward to WGC and Masters golf


New Delhi : Trying to find positives after finishing runner-up for the second time in five weeks is not the easiest of jobs, but Jeev Milkha Singh has done it pretty well by shifting his focus to World Golf Championships (WGC-CA) and the Augusta Masters in US next month.

Jeev, the Asian No.1 in 2006, lost on the third play-off to Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland at the Ballantine’s Championships Sunday. Four weeks ago, Jeev blew up on the 72nd hole and ended second at the Astro Enjoy Indonesia Open.

Despite flattering after coming so close, Jeev reckons his game is good enough to land a big title.

He is trying to look at things differently.

“I made a good effort. I would like to congratulate Graeme for playing excellent golf and I’m looking forward to Doral now because I’m playing well,” said Jeev.

“So maybe, there’s something better waiting for me there.”

Jeev’s second place finish carried him to the second place on the Asian Tour Money List. More important, he also moved up to the sixth place which has given him a spot in the WGC-CA Championships at Doral, where he finished 28th last year.

Jeev is also playing at the US Masters at Augusta next month.

India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia has already booked his place for WGC-CA on the basis of his current European Tour ranking. He is 12th while Jeev is sixth.

Jeev’s second place in Jeju took him to second place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit with winnings of $517,050 and lies approximately $40,000 behind leader Mark Brown of New Zealand.

At Jeju in South Korea, after tying with McDowell at 24-under-par 264, Jeev produced some gutsy par-saving putts in the play-off before McDowell delivered the knock-out blow with an immaculate approach for a winning two feet birdie putt after Jeev had missed his own birdie chance from six feet in the third extra hole.

“Obviously, you play to win but somebody has to win. The last hole, he hit a great shot in there after I hit a good shot and I think the best man won,” said Jeev. “This week is over, I’ve got to look forward to something better. I gave it 100 percent, I tried my best.”

A world-class field headed by world number one Tiger Woods awaits Jeev and fellow Asian Tour compatriots Liang Wen-chong of China, the reigning Order of Merit winner, Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, South African Anton Haig, Chowrasia and Brown.

Liang, Chapchai and Haig gained exemption into the lucrative WGC-CA Championship through their top-three finishes in the 2007 Asian Tour’s Order of Merit while Jeev, Chowrasia and Brown earned tickets through their current rankings on the European Tour.