Jeev sets goal higher, eyes top 20 place by next year

Not in a mood to bask in the glories of a fairytale season, Indian golf pro Jeev Milkha Singh has set the goal to break into the top 20 by the end 2009.

updated: December 14, 2008 17:10 IST
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Chandigarh:Not in a mood to bask in the glories of a fairytale season, Indian golf pro Jeev Milkha Singh has set the goal higher and wants to break into the top 20 by the end of the next year.

The year 2008 has been magical for Jeev so far, yielding four titles on three different tours, besides fetching him the Asian Tour Order of Merit title for the second time in his career.

The success has only whetted his appetite and the seasoned Indian, currently ranked 36th, is now hoping to shine in majors and eyeing wins in the PGA and European Tours to break into the top 20 in the golf rankings.

"I'm pleased with my form and this was my best year so far But I hope it would be even better next year," Jeev said.

"I feel that I'm capable of top 10 finish in major championship and my goal is to be among top 20 by 2009," he said, vowing to do whatever it takes to achieve the feat. "I have gained lot of confidence and trust my swing. Besides, I am more confident under pressure," he added.

Jeev won the Bank of Austria on the European Tour and triumphed at the Singapore Open, besides his twin victories on the Japan Tour, the last of which came in extraordinary circumstances.

Recuperating in a Tokyo hospital after delivering a stillborn, his wife Kudrat sent a shattered Jeev back to the course and the Indian went on to win the Nippon series JT cup, undoubtedly his most emotional triumph. "It was a tough week," Jeev said.

"I went into the tournament without having hit a single ball and that too after persuasion from his wife...I dedicate this win to my wife, she was strong enough to send me on the field," Jeev said.

Overall, Jeev said, it was a very productive year and the triumph in Singapore was special because of the star-studded field there.

"I played very well in 2008. However, Singapore open in Sentosa on Asian tour was the best performance as the field was fantastic," he said.

After his brilliant show in 2006, Jeev witnessed a slump in form next year before bouncing back this year with a superlative performance.

Looking back, Jeev attributed his average show in 2007 to thinking too much about outcome and insisted he would not repeat the mistake again.

"I follow my process and routine which gives me confidence. I have learnt a lot from 2007 when I was trying too much and was result-oriented. I will not repeat it in 2009," he said.

Aware that he needs to cut down on his hectic schedule, Jeev said her would be playing in fewer tournaments next year. "I am injured and my right hip bone pains during swing.

The experts have advised me to cut down playing the number of tournaments. I plan to cut down from existing 37 tournaments that I am playing in a calendar year to 33 and probably less," he said.