New Delhi: Plagued by injuries in the last two seasons, ace Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh on Tuesday said his priority in 2012 would be to stay fit and break into the top 100 world ranking.
Jeev, who is currently positioned at 187, said his primary focus would be to stay away from injuries and first regain his place in the top 100 list.
"My primary aim is to stay fit and get back into the top 100. If I stay fit then my form is also going to be good. I have been working with a personal trainer since last six months, he has advised some exercises to make my back stronger," said Jeev.
"If you are physically fit you will be mentally fit, you will end up hitting more balls. But if you are not in a good shape you will tend to think negatively. It is important to believe in yourself, remain injury free and work hard," he told reporters on the sidelines of the announcement of the second edition of the Gujarat Kensville Challenge 2012.
Jeev said he will "stick to the European tour" for the moment and would participate in the US tour events once he manages to sneak into the top 50 bracket.
"I will stick to the European tour for now, but once I break into top 50 I can think of playing in some big events in US. Currently I am ranked about 187, so my first aim will be to make it to the top 100 list," he said.
Jeev had a forgetful last year remaining conspicuous by his absence at the golf course because of a nagging back injury which affected his form and ranking.
The seasoned golfer`s notable performance were the tied fourth finishes at the Macau Open and Asia Pacific Panasonic Open, besides the tied ninth finish at the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship in the Asian Tour. He also finished sixth in the Nordea Masters in Sweden.
The 40-year-old, however, said he was feeling good in the new year and has been working hard since the last month.
"Injuries are part of the package, they come and go. I have been playing the professional golf since last 19 years, it definitely going to take a toll on the body so it is important to remain positive and work around the injuries and do quality practice," Jeev insisted.
"I have cut down my events, last year I played in around 30 to 35 events. I took a medical exemption from the US tour and Japanese were kind enough to keep my membership alive," he added.
He was also hopeful of India making a mark in golf in the 2016 Olympics when the sport will make its debut in the marquee event but insisted that the government should pro-actively come to support the game.
"India has got very good chance, there could be a medal. It is about clicking on that particular day. The good thing is professionals are also allowed," he said.
Golf has been scheduled to feature in the 2016 Olympics for the first time and the participant nation needs to be ranked under 60 in the world order.
Asked about his views on the Bharat Ratna debate, Jeev said: "It should be awarded to any anyone who excels in his field, it should be performance based. If there are four deserving persons then why to bereave others by awarding it a single individual," he said.
When asked to share his opinion on the growing demand to confer the coveted award on Sachin Tendulkar or hockey legend Dhayan Chand, Jeev said, "I believe their performances should be matched and a decision should be reached accordingly."
First Published: Tuesday, January 03, 2012, 17:50