Jeev paired with Mickelson at Shanghai

November 5th, 2008 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Shanghai, Nov 5 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh will tee off with defending champion and World No. 2 Phil Mickelson and the flamboyant Ian Poulter in a marquee grouping, while S.S.P. Chowrasia will play with Charl Schwartzel and Peter Hanson at the $5 million HSBC Champions at the Sheshan International Golf Club here.Jeev, returning to action after a long layoff due to injury, comes into the tournament via his win in Bank Austria while Chowrasia made the event with his success in Emaar-MGF Indian Masters. India’s third winner, Arjun Atwal, who won the Maybank Malaysian Open, has decided to stay back in the US and play the Nationwide Tour Championships.

Jeev, currently trailing close behind current leader, New Zealand’s Mark Brown, on the Asian Tour Order of Merit rankings, is amongst the parade of stars looking forward to get their week going.

“I am in good shape and I’m definitely looking forward to this week,” said Jeev. “I have played in many tournaments alongside Mickelson but this will be my first time playing with him.”

Asia’s best will get their opportunity to test their growing abilities against the world’s best players after receiving dream draws. Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, 2007, Liang Wen-chong of China will play against newly crowned Europe’s number one, Robert Karlsson of Sweden and Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.

Karlsson recently became the first Swedish player to win the European Tour Order of Merit in 2008.

In another interesting pairing, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, who currently holds the record of having won the maximum number of Asian Tour victories, will be up against Padraig Harrington of Ireland, winner of two Major titles this year and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

The 17-year-old Noh Seung-yul of Korea takes on fast-rising star Anthony Kim of the United States in what has been billed as the ‘Battle of Youth’.

A new qualifying criteria now allows the inclusion of past champions from the previous three years ensuring that inaugural winner, England’s David Howell, and popular Korean winner in 2006, Yang Yong-eun, get a place in the starting line-up this year.

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