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Golf | SA

Jeev Milka Singh © Gallo Images

Singh primed for success at Volvo

Ace Indian golfer Jeev Milka Singh can count on local support from the large Indian population in KwaZulu-Natal when he chases his third Volvo title in the third edition of the Volvo Golf Champions at Durban Country Club from 10 - 13 January 2013.

A previous winner of the Volvo Masters and Volvo China Open in 2006, Singh earned a berth in the European Tour’s season opening ‘Tournament of Champions’ with his fourth European Tour victory at the Scottish Open earlier this year.

The 2013 Volvo Golf Champions will boast a prize fund of €2 million (approx R22.5 million) and has already drawn a strong line-up in defending champion Branden Grace, Ryder Cup heroes Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Peter Hanson, as well as 2010 and 2012 Colin Montgomerie and José María Olazábal and 2012 Vice Captain, 13-time winner on the European Tour, Thomas Bjorn.

Singh suffered a ligament tear in the right index finger during the Scottish Open, which forced his withdrawal from several events. However, a course record equalling 64 during the third round of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship was a clear indication that India’s most successful golfer is back to form.

The 40-year-old Indian great was a regular visitor to South African shores in the early years of his career and among his highlights was a tie for second at the 1999 South African Open, a third place finish in the 1999 Alfred Dunhill PGA Championship and 13th in the 2001 Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Having hosted the South African Open Championship a record 17 times, Durban Country Club with its renowned championship course has an impressive résumé and was recently voted one of the Top 100 golf courses in the World by Golf Magazine USA.

Although Singh has not teed it up in South Africa since 2002, he has fond memories of the course and crowds when he posted a top 40 finish in the SA Open 10 years ago and the Indian ace is looking forward to reigniting his career with a return to winning form at the famous Durban Country Club.

“It was wonderful to have so many Indian fans walking along and cheering me on during the SA Open that year,” he said. “I hope I can count on their support again when I tee it up in the Volvo Golf Champions in January. Playing abroad can be a lonely experience. I remember how it lifted my spirits to have such amazing support. It made me feel like I was playing at home

“Right now, I feel like I am playing some of my best golf and it would be incredible not only to lift my third Volvo title, but to do it in front of the local Indian community.”

The Volvo Golf Champions, held in partnership with the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Government, the Central Government Departments for Sport and Recreation and the Department of Tourism, has no halfway cut and is open only to European Tour players who have won an event on the previous year’s European Tour International Schedule. The only exception is for current European Tour members with more than 10 European Tour victories, who also qualify for the tournament.

Singh, who earned his berth into the exclusive, limited field event with his victory at the Scottish Open, is looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to South Africa, to challenge at a superb golf course against a world-class field,” he said. “Of course, winning in Durban would be the perfect start to the season, and I’m looking forward to giving it my very best shot.”


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