Jeev sniffs strong finish in Dubai Desert Classic

Jeev Milkha Singh has this hunch that a strong finish is very much on the cards when he tees up at the Dubai Desert Classic here later this month.

updated: January 05, 2009 11:02 IST
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The 'Major' dream may take time to materialise but Jeev Milkha Singh, at the top of his game, has this hunch that a strong finish is very much on the cards when he tees up at the Dubai Desert Classic here later this month.

The Asian number one considers Dubai his home away from home and fancies his chances in the European Tour event at the Emirates Golf Club from January 26 to February 1.

"Of course, I would love to have a Major under my belt before my golfing career is over, but there are other tournaments like the Dubai Desert Classic which are very close to my heart," said Jeev, who had a fairytale 2008 which yielded four titles on three different tours.

"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 the Indian.

"When it comes to winning a tournament, it all depends on the mindset that week and how you deal with the pressure. Somehow, I have this intrinsic feeling that I would do well in Dubai," said Jeev who touched a career-high ranking of 35 in world rankings after his win in Golf Nippon Series JT Cup in Japan.

Looking back, Jeev draws motivation from his thrilling one-stroke victory at the Barclays Singapore Open ahead of the likes of Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson.

"I was happy I could win against the top players in the world and this will give me a lot of confidence to move on to better things," said Jeev, who hopes to break into the top 20 in the world ranking by the end of 2009.

"For that to happen, I need to be physically fit and mentally refreshed for every tournament I enter," the Chandigarh-based golfer was quoted as saying in a release.

Jeev, however, has set his eyes on a bigger goal and said, "I have proved myself again and now it's time to move on to bigger things. I think I've got the game, and the confidence, to win any tournament, even a Major."

Organisers of the Dubai Desert Classic are also excited having roped in Jeev for the event.

"When Jeev steps up to the tee, it's obvious dedication and discipline are in his genes, not to mention the gentle smile of his father," said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, CEO of golf in Dubai, promoters of the USD 2.5 million event.

"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," Buamaim said.

"I am sure his presence will provide a major boost to our tournament which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary," he added.