Jeev Milkha Singh to play at ISPS Handa Singapore Classic

Updated: Mar 08, 2012, 11:32 AM IST

Singapore: India`s Jeev Milkha Singh will be aiming for a triumphant return when he makes his debut against the region`s best players at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic at the Orchid Country Club from April 5-8.

The Lion City holds fond memories for the decorated Indian star as it was in Singapore that Jeev, an Asian Tour honorary member, enjoyed one of his career biggest wins in 2008.

His triumph at the Barclays Singapore Open four years ago helped him win the prestigious Asian Tour Order of Merit title for the second time and made him first player to surpass USD one million in earnings in a single season.

"I am looking forward to my first appearance in the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic. I hear it`s a challenging golf course and I can`t wait to get back to Singapore," said Jeev.

"Singapore is one of my favourite cities in the world and I always enjoy myself there. Of course I have also won the Singapore Open previously which helped me win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2008, so those are really fond memories for me to look back on," he added.

Jeev, who has won six times on the Asian Tour and has seven other international victories in Europe and Japan, has struggled with injuries over the past few years which took a toll on his health and world rankings.

It also forced the Indian to scale down his playing schedule globally.

"One of the goals for me this year is to stay fit and I am doing a decent job at it so far this season. My game is also coming along quite nicely that I am really looking
forward to a good season in 2012," he said.

Last year, Jeev enjoyed several strong outings on the Asian Tour, producing successive tied fourth finishes in the Macau Open and Panasonic Open in Japan. He also finished equal ninth at the Asian Tour`s season-ending Thailand Golf Championship.

"You have to be patient. It`s a tough sport. It`s important to stay focused and work hard. You win once in 35 tries, it`s a fantastic year. You`ve got to hang in there and aim for a win."

Jeev will come up against young compatriot Himmat Rai, who broke through for his maiden Asian Tour victory at last year`s Singapore Classic. Himmat prevailed after a marathon six-hole play-off with four other players at the Orchid Country Club.

Himmat has confirmed he will be returning to defend his title but knows he faces a tough defence with Jeev now in the field along with the expected challenge from local hero Mardan Mamat, a three-time Asian Tour winner who recently ended a six-year title drought by winning in the ICTSI Philippine Open last month.