Jeev, Shiv all set to make debut at McLeod Russel Tour Championship

Jeev Milkha SinghKolkata: Indian stars Jeev Milkha Singh and Shiv Kapur will look to make a memorable return to Kolkata and the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) after a long gap when they make their debut at the year-ending McLeod Russel Tour Championship beginning on Thursday.

Jeev, India's most successful golfer at the international level with 13 wins to his credit across three tours (European Tour, Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour), is excited to be making his return to Kolkata for a professional event after almost 19 years.

"I've been hearing a lot of good things about RCGC and the course is looking in great shape even though I'm yet to play my first round here," he said.

Jeev, who won his last tournament back in 2012 in Scotland, has recently shown signs of regaining top form as he came close to winning the Asian Tour's Indonesia Open before finishing tied second behind compatriot Gaganjeet Bhullar.

"I strongly feel that a win is around the corner for me. I was leading till the third round at last month's Indonesia Open. But hats off to Gaganjeet, he played some excellent golf to win on the final day. That week I felt that I'm getting closer to where I want to be."

The 45-year-old seasoned campaigner, who in early 2009, climbed as high as 28th in the world rankings (an Indian record), is now looking forward to competing at a Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) event after five years.

"The PGTI has been growing year on year. There's a lot of talent here now. I relish the prospect of competing against some of India's rising talent such as Rashid Khan, Chikkarangappa and Shubhankar Sharma, this week. I expect these young players to do really well in the future and make their name on the bigger tours."

Former Asian Tour winner Shiv Kapur, like Jeev, will also be playing competitive golf in Kolkata, after a long break. His last appearance at the RCGC was 12 years back in 2004. Kapur, who has had a mixed season on the Asian Tour with a 34th place finish on the Order of Merit, got a feel of the course during the first Pro-Am event of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship on Tuesday.

Kapur said, "It's nice to come back to a venue where I've played a lot as a junior and an amateur. I'm glad I'm here this time. The McLeod Russel Tour Championship is an event all Indian players talk about all year. They grind hard just to get into this event."