Singh on Song for Volvo Golf Champions1/13/2011
Indian star JeevMilkha Singh, the first Indian golfer to become a member of the European Tour has confirmed his participation in the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions, which takes place over the Montgomerie Course, Royal Golf Club, Bahrain in two-weeks-time. Back
India's most prolific player, JeevMilkha Singh will be going all-out to secure the 20th professional victory of his stellar career, having joined the all-star line-up for the inaugural US$2.2million (Approx. BHD830,000) Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain starting on 27th January.
The 39-year-old from Chandigarh is a proven winner with no fewer than 19 professional career victories to his name, including four on the notoriously tough Japanese Tour and two sponsored by Volvo, the 2006 Volvo China Open and the prestigious Volvo Masters later that same year.
"I had gone seven long years without a victory when I came good and won the Volvo China Open," recalls Singh, adding, "And winning the Volvo Masters, at that time the European Tours player's championship remains my biggest victory to date, alongside the Barclays Singapore Open in 2008."
Continued the man who was in contention at the 2008 USPGA Championship, finishing with a career-best top 10 finish, "The new Volvo Golf Champions is a great addition to the European Tour schedule and there are two very good reasons for trying my best to win it, first, it will qualify me for next year's Volvo Golf Champions as a 2011 winner and secondly, it would get me into the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain in May, which I played last time around and is a hugely prestigious event."
Added the Indian star, whose 2010 season was interrupted by injury, "A victory in the Volvo Golf Champions would also go a long way towards restoring my reputation as a proven winner as I pursue my goal of getting back into the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking."
Jeev, who clearly has great sporting genes – he is the son of Olympic athlete Milkha Singh and ex-Indian volleyball captain NirmalKaur – became a father for the first time exactly a year ago when his wife Kudrat presented him with a son, Harjai, Singh joked, "I need to get back into the winner's enclosure with an extra mouth to feed, and I'm hopeful of getting great support from the large expatriate Indian population in Bahrain"
Commenting on the commitment of the man who reached 37th in the world in 2008 and ended that season in 12th place on the European Tour money list (now the Race to Dubai Rankings), Per Ericsson, President, Volvo Event Management – Golf said, "It's great news that a player of Jeev's calibre views the Volvo Golf Champions as a ‘must play,' event on his busy worldwide schedule. He is a truly global golfer as well as a fantastic ambassador for his country and Asian golf and his victory in the 2006 Volvo Masters represented a massive breakthrough for Asian golf."
JeevMilkha Singh, who divides his time between his time in Chandigarh, Sunnigdale near London and New York has twice been Asian Tour Player of the Year in 2006 and 2008 and followed in his father's footsteps when he was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri in 2007, the equivalent of a Knighthood in the UK.
He is hot on the heels of ThongchaiJaidee as Asia's most successful golfer, having broken through the US$3million (approx. BHD1.1million) mark last year in Asian Tour prize money alone.
Jeev is one of only two leading European Tour golfers (the other is Swede HenrikStenson, who works with his compatriot Fanny Sunesson) to work with a female caddie – Englishwoman Janet Squire, who was on the Indian's bag for three of his four victories in 2008.
Entries from those eligible to play the Volvo Golf Champions close on Thursday 13th January; amongst those already confirmed are Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, Peter Hanson, brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari and Ian Poulter, all members of Monty's winning European Tour, plus ‘Major' winners José Maria Olazábal, Michael Campbell and Todd Hamilton, 2010 European Tour Rookie of the Year MatteoManassero and 10-time European Tour winner, Denmark's Thomas Björn.