Jeev celebrates birthday, gets set to play Dubai Open

Jeev celebrates birthday, gets set to play Dubai Open

Jeev Milkha Singh is ready to play through pain as he seeks to end the year on a high note at the inaugural Dubai Open, starting Thursday.

The two-time Asian Tour number one is returning from an enforced three-week break after having a cortisone jab into his right shoulder but Singh, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Monday, admitted the treatment has failed to alleviate the pain.

"There's still pain, so I don't know whether the shot has worked or not. The doctor says it hasn't because you should have no pain after two weeks," said Singh.

"But I'm here and I'm going to enjoy this week."

Singh paid tribute to the Asian Tour and event promoter and organiser golf in Dubai for launching the newest USD 500,000 tournament on the region's premier Tour, which is also the final tournament of the 2014 season.

Top Asian Tour stars including Prom Meesawat and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Filipino Angelo Que and India?s Rashid Khan, all ranked in the top-10 of the Order of Merit, will tee up at the immaculate The Els Club Dubai in search of the inaugural Dubai Open trophy.

Former British Open champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who needs a lone 16th place or better finish in Dubai to qualify for the Masters Tournament in April, are also in the field.

"I think it's fantastic. We love Dubai as a city. I think it's a multicultural place where the golf courses are fantastic. And golf has grown in this region. The field is strong this week and we are hoping this event will be a success," said Singh, who is also a golf in Dubai ambassador.

With his family in Dubai, Singh hopes to celebrate the week of his birthday by returning into the winner?s circle, with his last success being the 2012 Scottish Open.

"We are going to have a great week. I just want to enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the game. Yes, I'm 21 now," he said laughing.

"I think after 40, you don't count how old you are. You just say you're 21. That's the way I feel."

Fleetwood will be on a mission to break into the world's top-50 in what is the final counting event on the Official World Golf Ranking. Following a commendable fourth place finish in Thailand on Sunday, he rose to 52nd in the world and another good result in Dubai will see him tee up at Augusta National for the year's first Major.

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