Making the PGA Tour was most satisfying, says Jeev

Jeev Milkha SinghDubai, Nov 17 : It has been a mixed season for Jeev Milkha Singh, who Thursday will tee off at the inaugural Dubai World Championships, which signals the end of the European Tour season.

It has been a season, during which Jeev despite a fall in his World Golf Rankings ensured a ticket to the US PGA Tour for 2010. The full playing rights were confirmed at the end of the final US Tour event last week at the end of the WGC-HSBC Champions and last of the Fall series events, the Children's Miracle Network Classic in Florida.

"It is indeed a irony that in a year I did not win and saw my rankings drop, I made it to the PGA Tour," said Jeev. "It was fairly certain that I would make the PGA Tour card after the top-10 at Turning Stone, but I still needed to wait till the end of the season to get a confirmation of my prize money. The ticket to PGA Tour was the best thing this year."

As a non-exempt member, Jeev tallied way more than the 125th finisher on the PGA Tour and it gave him rights to play on PGA Tour next year. That will make Jeev only the second Indian - after Arjun Atwal - to be exempt for PGA Tour.

In 2009, Jeev, who played almost fully on US and European Tours, made just $1.27 million globally. Of that $815,000 came in events, including Majors and World Golf Championships (WGC), counting towards the US Tour Money list.

Looking back all that, a relaxed and very fit-looking Jeev was all smiles as he teed off at the Pro-Am, in the company of his brother-in-law, Manish Sanwalka and two others, at the first-ever Dubai World Championships, which signals the Grand Finale for the top-60 of the European Tour.

"I am feeling absolutely fit, no niggles, no aches or pains and the season is almost over," said Jeev about his current state. "Through the second half of the year I played with some problem or the other. Rib, Wrist, ankle? some niggle or the other. But right now, with only a few events left for 2009, I am feeling great. I am hitting well and there is no tentativeness."

Jeev, who failed to win any titles this year - he won four last year - and dropped from 35th at the start of the year to 60th this week in World Golf Rankings, is however not perturbed by the slide down.

"The World Rankings come and go. I have not been able to play my best for quite a bit of the season, because of the small injuries. Once I am at my fittest I am confident of getting back to top-30 or so and then maybe a little more up," he said.

"My focus for 2010 is stay fit. I had promised to cut down on number of events in 2009 and that I did. I was not fit at US Open, which I should not have played, and I missed the British Open. Those were big misses and I don't want that to happen again."

After the week in Dubai, where he starts as the 37th on the Money List, now called Race to Dubai, Jeev still has two more engagements. "I will play the World Cup at Mission Hills and then I will defend my title, Golf Nippon JT Cup in Japan," said Jeev. Last year Jeev won the event for a second time, despite his wife, Kudrat, losing their baby in the late stages of pregnancy.

Jeev, who missed out on making the International Team for President's Cup - the injuries affected his performance - will however play two Team events in the next three months. He plays the World Cup next week and in January, he plays for Asia in the Royal Trophy in Thailand against Europe.(IANS)