Jeev leads Indian assault on Omega European Masters
Crans Montana (Switzerland): Aiming to end his three-year title drought, Jeev Milkha Singh leads a strong Indian assault on the Omega European Masters golf tournament starting on Thursday.
Jeev, who last won in 2008, heads a contingent of six Indian players, all of whom have won on the Asian Tour.
Jeev will be one of the leading players on the hunt in the approx. USD 2,600,000 event co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tour.
Also flying the Indian flag will be SSP Chowrasia, who won the Avantha Masters this year, Gaganjeet Bhullar winner of the Kensville Challenge, a European Challenge Tour event, Anirban Lahiri, who took the Panasonic Open besides eight-time Asian Tour winner, Jyoti Randhawa, who last week won on the Indian Tour, and Shiv Kapur, who has time and again come close to adding to his solitary Asian Tour win, the Volvo Masters in 2005.
Jeev hit by a back injury last year believes he is on track to rediscovering his form, which won him four titles each in 2006 and 2008.
He will have Colin Montgomerie, the successful European Ryder Cup captain in 2010 and former Asian Tour number one Simon Dyson for company in the opening two rounds at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
"I`m pretty happy with my game. I`ve worked hard on it and I don`t have any more injuries. I`m working on the right stuff and that`s the main goal for me ? to stay fit," said Jeev.
The Asian Tour honorary member harbours hopes of breaking into the world`s top-50, a feat he achieved early in 2010 but admits he needs to start winning to achieve his goal.
"I`m on track to my goal of breaking into the world`s top-50 again but I feel I need to win two or three times a year to do that. I feel my game is good enough to be in the top-50 of the world but need to take things slowly," Singh said.
"I`ll try to finish in the top-100 by this year and hopefully I can be in the top-50 by July next year. The main thing is to have a win by the end of the year. That would certainly help with my goal and my confidence," said Singh, currently outside the top-200 in the world.
Jeev`s decision to give up his US PGA Tour card this year has given him more opportunities to work on his game and concentrate on playing in Europe, Asia and Japan.
"I gave up my PGA Tour card because I didn`t want to travel that much. I can`t hold on to so many cards. That`s too much travelling and with the injuries I had, I need to take care of my fitness. It will be less tournaments but more hard work and quality golf," he said.
Current Order of Merit leader Chowrasia, winner of the Avantha Masters in India earlier this year, hopes to bounce back into form and extend his lead on the Order of Merit.
"I`ll play in Europe in the next few weeks then I`ll return to Asia because I`m aiming to win the Order of Merit. That`s my dream and goal for the year," said Chowrasia.
However, he admits he needs to rediscover his putting and chipping touch, which has been the strong point in his game in the past.
"There is always something missing from my golf game. It is either my chipping or putting that will let me down. I`ve really been struggling in the last few months but my confidence is slowly growing," said Chowrasia.