Jeev Milkha Singh eyes solid start to 2014

Abu Dhabi, Jan 14: He battled an unrelenting index finger injury throughout a challenging 2013 season. Now ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship beginning Thursday, Indian ace Jeev Milkha Singh says he is refreshed and can’t wait to take on the world’s best.

A long-time stalwart of the HSBC Golf Championship, Singh says he is feeling vibrant and ready to tee-off his 2014 season with a falcon-style swoop on the Championship which has become one of his favourites on the European Tour.

This year will mark the eighth time that India’s record-breaking star will return to the event for a shot at holding the coveted Falcon trophy, an advantage he is confident will see him in amongst the frontrunners on the final day of this week’s Championship.

“I’m looking forward to giving it everything I’ve got in Abu Dhabi, a place where I’ve thoroughly enjoyed opening my season for a number of years now. I know the course well and I’m determined to use that experience to my benefit this week. I feel as good as ever and can’t wait to get the season underway,” said Singh.

Chandigarh-born Singh, whose Abu Dhabi-career best place is 24th, turned professional in 1993. He has since smashed several home-country records, becoming the first Indian to qualify for the European Tour in 1998 and owning the title of most successful Indian on tour with four wins to his name.

The 42 year-old was the first Indian to break into the top 100 in October 2006. His most recent victory came in 2012 when he clinched the number one spot at the Scottish Open, one year before Phil Mickelson, who is also playing in Abu Dhabi, won in 2013 and then went on to win the Open Championship at Muirfield.