Jeev, Chowrasia, Chopra tee up at world golf championships

March 19th, 2008 - 3:39 pm ICT by admin  

Orlando (Florida), March 19 (IANS) Jeev Milkha Singh, who has twice been turned away at the doorstep of victory is hoping for “better things” at the WGC-CA Championship in Doral, where he will be accompanied by one of the best Asian Tour star casts ever. The world’s best from Tiger Woods to Phil Mickelson will figure in the starting.

In the $8 million event starting Thursday, Jeev, currently sixth on the European Tour and second on Asian Tour, will also have for company S.S.P. Chowrasia, one of the big surprises of this year.

Chowrasia won the Emaar MGF Indian Masters, a co-sanctioned event on Asian and European Tour, and earned a berth by virtue of his position on the European Tour Money List.

Adding to the Indian connection at the tournament will be two-time PGA Tour winner, Daniel Chopra, a great friend of Jeev. The two have played a lot of junior golf and were then on Asian Tour together.

“It will be fun playing with him (Chopra) in the US. He has got great results and is capable of even more. Together we could make a huge impact and with S.S.P. also there, it will be a big boost for Indian golf,” said Jeev, who also has an invite to this year’s Masters, where he was 37th last year.

“I’m looking forward to Doral now because I’m playing well,” said Jeev. “So maybe, there’s something better waiting for me there.”

Chowrasia will play alongside Korean Choi Kyung-ju, an Asian Tour product, and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, while Jeev’s partner will be two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen.

Other top Asians in Doral will be Chinese star Liang Wen-chong, last season’s Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, ranked second at the end of last season, South Africa’s Anton Haig and James Kingston and current Order of Merit leader, Mark Brown of New Zealand.

Liang has been drawn to play in the first two rounds alongside Sergio Garcia and Graeme Storm.

Liang, the first Asian number one from China, is looking forward to his WGC debut. “The highest you can go in golf is the US PGA Tour and I hope to reach there someday.

“In order to get there, I have to first train in Asia and get enough experience so that I would be able to compete against the best players,” said Liang, who won one title and produced eight top-10s last season.

Big-hitting Chapchai was tipped by world number two Phil Mickelson as a player with a massive potential and the Thai will relish the opportunity of challenging the big boys this week.

The tenacious Jeev has already finished runner-up on two occasions this season, including a play-off defeat at the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea last weekend. But he believes his game is good enough to challenge the world’s best in the CA Championship where he was tied 28th last year.

Chowrasia hopes to live up to his American dream after a life-changing home victory last month where he defeated a top field that included Ernie Els. The son of a greenkeeper, the 29-year-old will be looking forward to play alongside Choi, who is the first Asian Tour graduate to enjoy success in the US.

All eyes will also be on Brown, who hit a purple patch last month by winning back-to-back titles at the SAIL Open and Johnnie Walker Classic on the Asian Tour.

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