Indian golf has a lot of depth, says Jeev

February 27th, 2008 - 6:59 pm ICT by admin  

By V. Krishnaswamy
Gurgaon, Feb 27 (IANS) Playing the Johnnie Walker Classic, one of Asia’s premier golfing events, has always been a high for Jeev Milkha Sing. But playing it at home is an even bigger thrill for the Chandigarh professional, who in 2006 was Asia No.1, having won four events. As he gets ready for his second appearance at the Augusta Masters, an invitee for this year’s edition, Jeev said: “I am Pretty excited about playing this week. Johnnie Walker has always been one of the best events in Asia. The golf course is playing well and it’s in good condition. I think the playing conditions are going to be tough with the wind. The greens are firm. There’s a lot of slope on the greens, and there’s a lot of depth in the field, so it’s going to be an interesting week.”

Jeev, who many consider has been the standard bearer for Indian golf also predicted great things for Indian golf.

“I think there’s a lot of depth in Indian golf, there’s a lot of talent. I think players are maturing really well and they are comfortable playing biggies on the circuit.

“The reason is there are more tournaments coming to India, and when they play with the bigger players, they learn. They learn how to conduct themselves and they learn how to manage themselves. They start believing that if they can do it, why not us.”

Asked how would he compare India’s recent successes if an Indian won the Johnnie Walker Classic? “It would be like icing on the cake. I think that would be great for Indian golf. Indian golf has come a long way. It’s the fastest growing sport in our country today. If an Indian wins, I think we’ll have more tournaments in India and more sponsors will come through. Also a lot of confidence will go down the ladder to other players who play on the Indian Tour.

On his own form, Jeev said: “I’m playing well and pretty excited about this tournament. I’ve played here many times, and I think it all comes down to putting at the end of the day. But there’s a lot of depth, so we’ll say how it goes.”

On putting letting him down on the last day at the Astro Enjoy Indonesia Open, he said: “There’s always up-and-downs. The tournament all came down to one putt on the last hole. In fact, if he missed and I made, it was my tournament; but he made and I missed. That’s part of a golfer’s career. You go through such things. In fact, I putted well that week, and I hit a good putt, didn’t go in. That’s fine. Like I mentioned, you’ve got to putt well to win tournaments.”

On the positives from the tournament, he smiled and added, “The only positive I take out is that there is something better waiting for me.”

On his upcoming schedule, Jeev confirmed he is playing next week in Malaysia and then in Korea. “After that I’m taking two weeks off and then I’m going to head off to the US for the Houston Open, the Masters and hoping that I play will for about five weeks in the US.”

But for now, the eyes are firmly on the Johnnie Walker Classic.

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