‘Royal trophy win is special for me’

Jeev Milkha Singh, who played a crucial role in Asia's Royal Trophy win over Europe, says the victory will give a huge fillip to the Asian and Indian golfers. Jeev had beaten Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez during the tournament, which the Asian team won via play-off. The Indian ace is also gearing up to host his invitation tournament - Shubkamna Champions -- from Friday and said that is how he could give it back to the game. Excerpts.

As a member of the winning team in the Royal Trophy, how important was the victory?

It's very important for Asian golf. Golf is going to boost in Asia. Very good for Asian players' confidence that they can play with the best in the world. For Indians, it shows that top players are coming out of India. Indian players have played in the Royal Trophy in the past and it will help the game improve in our country too.

You had to beat Miguel Angel Jimenez? What was going through your head?

It was a do-or-die situation out there. I was one down after the 14th hole. On 15th I got a birdie. On 16th it was a good putt about 20-footer. On 17th I made a great birdie to go 1 up. On the final hole, I had to half it with Miguel or win it for the team to go into the playoff.

I knew it as team captain Joe Ozaki told me. It's always good to do something for the team and as it was a team event. Pressure was high but that feeling of representing the team eased it a little bit. Winning the cup for Asia was a big thing for me. It has given me a lot of confidence and I have a lot of respect for Miguel and he is a big player. We had a good battle out there. I think its such a game that whosoever holds the most putt wins and I had most putts coming in and then the tables turned and I won.

... contd.

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