Manila: Struggling to revive the form which made him India's top golfer, seasoned pro Jeev Milkha Singh has pinned his hopes of a turnaround on the USD one million Resorts World Manila Masters which tees off here Thursday.
From being a top-50 player in the world, the two-time Asian Tour number one has fallen on hard times over the past two seasons but the 42-year-old believes he can haul himself back into the winner's enclosure.
"It's been about 20 years since I came back here (to the Philippines). I was only about 22 or 23 years old when I last played here. I'm glad to be back after so many years and it's good to have the positive vibes and good memories from the last time I was here. I hope to build on those and play my best this week," said Singh, who won the 1995 Philippine Classic and Asian Matchplay Championship.
Singh's recent struggle is difficult to imagine as it was only two years ago that he won the prestigious Scottish Open for his third victory on European soil. He was also ranked as high as 35th in the world back in 2008, the year he became the Asian Tour's Order of Merit champion for a second time with a record haul of USD 1.45 million in winnings.
But Singh believes he can regain his best form again as he did on two other occasions during his illustrious career which has suffered several peaks and troughs.
And with young compatriots Anirban Lahiri and Rashid Khan, both in their 20s, having won twice already this season on the Asian Tour, Singh said their success has only motivated him to work harder.
"The standard of golf has really improved in Asia. The young kids are hungry for success and they want to prove themselves. They are fearless and it's just great to watch. Seeing young kids like Rashid winning on Tour motivates me. They push me to play well and I would like to do well to compete with them," said Singh.
"My game's feeling good. The only thing I need to work on is my driving. If it's in place, I think I will have a good week."
Singh marvelled at the prime condition of the Masters course at Manila Southwoods.
"The golf course is in a fantastic condition. I couldn't remember the holes at all, except for the 18th hole, having not played here for such a long time. It's amazing. The wind is going to be a strong factor on this course. If it picks up, it is going to be a great test of golf out there," he said.