Jeev assured of starts in three golf Majors next year

November 5th, 2008 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh, riding on a career-best 2008 European Tour season, has by virtue of his 12th finish in Order of Merit secured a start in almost all the top events for 2009, including three of the four Majors and the World Golf Championships.”It’s been a great season. Now my goals for the remaining two months are getting back into the top-50, which will allow me to play in my favourite Augusta Masters once again and trying to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit,” said Jeev.

Jeev is busy preparing for last few weeks of 2008, during which he will play some events in Europe’s 2009 season and last few of 2008 Asian Tour season.

His schedule continues to be as packed as the rest of this year, during which he has won two titles. He won the Bank Austria Open in Europe and the Sammy Sega Cup in Japan, even though he was hit by an ankle injury for a good part of the season.

Jeev is currently 61 in world rankings and a couple of good results at the big-money events in Asia can bolster his rankings.

“I am playing the HSBC Champions, followed by Barclay’s Singapore Open, Hong Kong Open and the World Cup in China. I will then go for the Champions tournament in Japan and then after a short break play the Volvo Masters of Asia,” said Jeev. In between, he also plans to play an event on Indian domestic PGTI tour.

Jeev is now assured of starts at the British Open, US Open and the PGA Championships after finishing 12th on the European Order of Merit with earnings of just over 1.2 million Euros. He will also get to play the World Golf Championships.

Jeev’s previous best on the European Tour was 16th in 2006. Jeev has finished in top-50 of European Money List four times - 50th in 1999, 16th in 2006, 46th in 2007 and 12th in 2008.

“It’s great feeling to be able secure places for the Majors. I think 2008 was much better than 2006 because my performance in the Major championships have been better. These are big events and there is a lot of pressure and you are playing with the world’s best,” said Jeev.

“When I was leading at the PGA on Day One I felt I was right up there. But I was really tired in the last round because I had to play 35 holes. I had to take painkillers because of the ankle pain but at the end of the day, I was happy that I gave my 100 percent.”

“Even as I try to improve my rankings, another goal is to try and win the Asian Tour Order of Merit once again. I’ve won the Order of Merit title (before in 2006). It will come down to who does best in the HSBC, the Barclays and the UBS,” said the Indian, who is a little over $150,000 behind New Zealander, Mark Brown.

The three events this month in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong carry a total purse of $12.5 million and that can make a big change in the Order of Merit.

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