Fit-again Jeev Milkha eager to start 2012 strongly in Dubai

Dubai: Having regained his full fitness after a long time, Jeev Milkha Singh is now aiming to make a winning start to the new season as he tees it up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic from February 9 to 12.

"The aim is to try and win the tournament. It`s been a long since I felt that fit and healthy. I know I am close, but when it comes to winning a tournament, it also depends on the mindset that week and how you deal with the pressure," said Jeev, ahead of the USD 2.5 million European Tour event starting at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai.

"Somehow, I have this intrinsic feeling that I would do well in Dubai as I am striking the ball pretty well," said Jeev, arguably India`s best golfer ever, who will join a star-studded cast headlined by world number two Lee Westwood and victorious US Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples in what he called one of his favourite events on the European Tour.

The 40-year-old, who last won a European Tour event on June 8, 2008, needed to endure a series of career-threatening injuries to wrist, shoulders, angle and lower back, forcing him to cut down his playing schedule.

"Injuries did a take toll on my body. I won`t be able to play that many tournaments in a season as I used to, but good thing is that I have achieved the level of fitness I need to compete on the Tour," said Jeev, the first Indian golfer play in all four Majors and break into the top-30 of the world rankings.

"I have won tournaments in different parts of the world, but winning in Dubai would be special. Being an ambassador of golf in Dubai, the tournament is very close to my heart," said Jeev, the son of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh, who had won 77 of the 80 races he ran.

"My father is a great motivator and if anyone takes his advice, he is bound to excel in life."