In-form Jeev Milkha plans title assault at British Open

Jeev Milkha SinghLytham St Annes, England: Jeev Milkha Singh, winner of the Scottish Open on Sunday, hopes to give his Major ambition a boost by treating this week’s Open Championship just ‘as another event’.

The Indian star, a two-time Asian Tour number one, produced a stunning play-off victory in Scotland to end a four-year winless run and now enters his third Open appearance with his confidence sky high.

While many will be treating a week at Royal Lytham and St Annes as a special one, the 40-year-old Singh is not putting any emphasis towards the year’s third Major.

“This is just another week for me. I’m not going to treat it differently. I want to treat it like another event. That’s why I’ve just showed up on Tuesday which I normally do and take it from there,” said Singh.

Singh’s Scotland triumph extended a run of great results for Asian Tour stars as three-time Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand was victorious in the Wales Open in June.
However, the Indian has yet to pop a bottle of bubbly to celebrate his 14th international victory.

““It was great satisfaction winning at the Home of Golf against a top field and tough conditions.
We didn’t celebrate. All plans had to change (as he initially wasn’t in the Open field) and I went back to London, got in at 1.30am after Sunday. We didn’t have a chance to celebrate but we’ll do it next week,” he said.

Victory was redemption for Singh whose career has been intertwined by injury spells and good bursts of winning form. He won four times around the world in 2006 and 2008, both years where he ended as the Asian Tour number one.

“It was a frustrating period. You just have to hang in there and believe that things will turn around. I always believed in that. If you do the right stuff, good things will happen. That’s what happened,” he said.

“The most important thing is that when a player is injury free, you can work harder. It gives you more confidence. That’s the reason why I won. Last few weeks I was knocking and I was having two or three good rounds. I just needed to put in four good rounds. It happened last week and the win came to me.”

Links golf may be unfamiliar to many Asians but Singh simply loves the challenge, as proven by his triumph at Castle Stuart Golf Links last week. A return to the Open also gives him a chance to atone for his disappointment of 2009 when he had to withdraw from The Open through injury.

“I love links golf. A lot of feel and imagination is required. I enjoy every bit of it and I’m looking forward to this week,” he said. “I’m excited to be back here. After what happened (in 2009), I am fitter and I’m ready. Couldn’t be better winning a tournament and coming into the Open championship.

“I’m excited. I’m happy it’s happened. I take a lot of confidence and I want to move back into the top-50 in the world and do well in the Majors,” added Singh.