BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Jeev Milkha Singh travels the planet to play golf, trying to make a name for himself along the way.
It has been a challenge.
The 36-year-old from India is often mistaken as being a relative of Vijay Singh, or even the 45-year-old Fijian himself. In his own family, hes overshadowed by his father, Milkha Singh, an Olympic sprinter in 1960.
Jeev Singh took a step toward meriting some recognition of his own Thursday by shooting a 2-under 68, giving him a share of the clubhouse lead in the opening round of the PGA Championship.
The loosely wound player takes his anonymity in stride.
When someone thinks he is the three-time major champion and former top-ranked player with 54 victories around the world, or is related to him, hes got a pretty good retort.
I just say `Im the other Singh, he said.
Most players, including Vijay Singh, who was 4 over through 11 holes, struggled in the opening round at Oakland Hills that lived up to its billing as The Monster, with undulating fairways and tricky greens.
But Singh eagled No. 2, after opening with a bogey, and had as many birdies (3) as bogeys to share the lead in the clubhouse with Robert Karlsson. Andres Romero was at 2 under through 16 holes, but did not finish the round due to darkness.
Singhs showing wasnt bad for a guy playing with an injured tendon that hurts his right foot and ankle when he has a driver in his hands or his feet in the rough.
Then again, perhaps that will help him become the 16th player in 26 years to win his first major at the PGA Championship.
Tiger Woods had season-ending surgery on his left knee shortly after his famed victory in the U.S. Open in June. Trevor Immelman had a tumor removed from his back four months before winning the Masters in April. Padraig Harrington won the British Open last month with an ailing right wrist.
Maybe it helps that way, focuses on the pain more than, `Oh, I need to hole this putt and I dont want to make a double or make a bogey, Singh said. You just follow the process and routine and you make the putt for par or birdie.
Singh tied for 25th at the Masters this year and finished tied for 26th and 39th at two other PGA TOUR events. He missed the cut at 10 over at last years PGA Championship, his first major.
He prides himself on playing virtually every week on one of three continents ' Asia, Europe and North America ' but plans to disrupt his grueling routine after playing next week in Greensboro, N.C.
I got an MRI done three weeks ago, the doctor said I need four weeks off, he said. He said theres a lot of inflammation in there.
Singh expects to take at least two weeks off, adding he chose to keep pushing himself because hes been playing well enough to get a win two months ago in Austria and two weeks ago in Japan.
His day at Oakland Hills could have been even better, according to his swing coach.
He was short on about six putts under 8 feet, Arnritnder Singh said.
He chuckled when asked if he was related to his pupil.
No. Back in India, Singh is like having a name like Jones or Smith over here, Arnritnder Singh said.