A fully-fit Jeev Milkha Singh says he can almost sense a strong finish, if not victory, when he tees it up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, starting at the Emirates Golf Club from February 9 to 12.
“The aim is to try and win the tournament. It’s been a long since I felt that fit and healthy. I know I am close, but when it comes to winning a tournament, it also depends on the mindset that week and how you deal with the pressure,” said Singh, ahead of the $2.5 million European Tour event, promoted and organised by golf in DUBAi.
“Somehow, I have this intrinsic feeling that I would do well in Dubai as I am striking the ball pretty well,” said arguably India’s best golfer ever, who will join a star-studded cast headlined by world number two Lee Westwood and victorious US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples in what he called one of his favourite events on the European Tour.
The 40-year-old, who last won a European Tour event on June 8, 2008, needed to endure a series of career-threatening injuries to wrist, shoulders, angle and lower back, forcing him to cut down his playing schedule.
“Injuries did a take toll on my body. I won’t be able to play that many tournaments in a season as I used to, but good thing is that I have achieved the level of fitness I need to compete on the Tour,” said Singh, the first Indian golfer play in all four Majors and break into the top-30 of the world rankings.
“I have won tournaments in different parts of the world, but winning in Dubai would be special. Being an ambassador of golf in DUBAi, the tournament is very close to my heart. Dubai is a fantastic place. I have always felt very good being there. In fact, I can call it a home away from home,” said Jeev, the son of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, better known as the ‘Flying Sikh’ who had won 77 of the 80 races he ran.
“My father is a great motivator and if anyone takes his advice, he is bound to excel in life,” said Jeev who himself does a lot of yoga and weight training to improve his fitness level.
Commented Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, “ We are delighted to welcome back the ace Indian golfer, who is a well established international star with a tremendous fan-following,
“Without doubt his contribution to Asian golf has been immense and he is also considered among the elite on the Japanese and European Tour,” he added. “I am sure his presence will provide a major boost to our tournament,” said Buamaim.
‘golf in DUBAi’ is backed by Omega as the title sponsor and Dubal (Dubai Aluminium) as the sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Gulf News, Emirates NBD, Jumeirah, Mercedes-Benz and wasl while Dubai Duty Free, Carpetland and Motivate are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.