Four-time European Tour winner Jeev Milkha Singh returned a card of five-over 76 at Harbour Shores, in Michigan, to finish tied 90th in the 156-man field. (Photo credit: Asian Tour)
Jeev Milkha Singh got off to a poor start in his first Senior PGA Championship campaign as he returned a card of five-over 76 at Harbour Shores Golf Club in Michigan to finish tied 124th in the 156-man field on Thursday. After turning 50 in December last year, Jeev had decided to play on the senior tour across the globe. However, Jeev's first event on the European Legends Tour – MCB Tour Championship – got interrupted due to inclement weather conditions in Mauritius.
Starting from the 10th tee, the Chandigarh-based professional stumbled upon a double bogey on the very first hole before making amends with a birdie on the next. Jeev then had four straight pars before dropping a shot on the 16th hole and making the turn at two-over-par. He parred the first hole but was unable to avoid dropping a bogey on the next hole. After three back-to-back pars, the first Indian to break into the top-100 of the world rankings stumbled upon a double bogey on the sixth hole. But he closed his round with three pars on the trot for his eventual tally.
Bob Estes and Steven Alker were tied for the lead at seven-under 64 followed by Mike Weir and Paul Claxton a stroke behind. Robert Karlsson and Duffy Waldorf submitted matching 66s to share fifth place.
Taking inspiration from former World No. 1 Bernhard Langer, 64, who has a record 42 PGA Tour Champions titles apart from 11 senior Major championship trophies, Jeev had told News9 Sports few months back that he wanted to clinch an elusive Major on the senior circuit.
"I never won a Major and would like to clinch a title on the senior tour. If Bernhard Langer could do it, why can't I?" Jeev, whose tied ninth finish in the 2008 PGA Championship remained an Indian record for seven years, had said then.
Jeev lost both his parents – father 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh and mother Nirmal Kaur – due to COVID-19 in a span of five days last year. However, he took the decision to continue with his golf after a four-month emotional sabbatical and was very excited to make his debut on the Legends Tour's season-ending event in Mauritius before it got cancelled due to bad weather.
Till date, he remains the highest-ranked Indian golfer ever at World No. 28, which he achieved on 28th March 2009. Anirban Lahiri came close by reaching World No. 33 in 2015.
"...I am sure my parents would want me to continue with my life. Golf is the only thing I have known for nearly 35 years, and I think nothing will give them greater pleasure than me doing well on the golf course once again," Jeev had said in a Legends Tour statement.
Professional wins: European Tour – 4 (2006 Volvo China Open, 2006 Volvo Masters, 2008 Bank Austria Golf Open, 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open)
Japan Tour – 4 (2006 Casio World Open, 2006 Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, 2008 Nagashima Shigeo Invitational Sega Sammy Cup, 2008 Golf Nippon Series JT Cup)
Asian Tour – 6 (1995 Philippine Classic, 1996 Asian Matchplay Championship, 1996 Philip Morris Asian Cup, 1999 Lexus international, 2006 Volvo China Open, 2008 Barclays Singapore Open)
Korean PGA – 1 (1994 Shinhan Donghae Open)
Other Wins – 5 (1993 Bukit Kiara Golf Championship, 1994 Northern Indian Open, 1995 Thailand PGA Championship, 1995 Mahindra BPGC Open, 1995 Toyota Crown Open).
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