The Other Singh
Im not at the level of Sachin Tandulkar, the great cricket star, he said while practice putting in preparation for Doral. But golfs the fastest growing sport in India.
His fame may be growing, but he jokes that hes not even the most renowned athlete in his own family. Jeevs dad, Milka, ran 400 meters in The Olympic Games of 1960 and 64.
He broke the world record in Rome, Jeev said with obvious pride. But he didnt win a medal because three other guys also broke the mark. My dad made the mistake of looking back.
Milka settled in Chanigargh, north of New Delhi, to raise a family, Jeev following his father to the local golf club. He competed in the old Doug Sanders Junior Series in Asia, and eventually displayed enough talent to warrant a call from the colorful Sanders himself.
He suggested I come to Texas to play college golf, Jeev recalled. So Jeev enrolled at Abeliene Christian, alma mater to Byron Nelson. There, Jeev won the Division II NCAA Championship in 1993 before turning pro. His coach at Abeliene Christian was Vince Jarrett, now leading The University of Houston.
Jeev started his professional journey on The Asian Tour but wouldnt break through on the world scene until 2006. He won the Volvo Masters at Valderamma, the season-ending event on The European Tour.
I hit a 6-iron to 12 feet on the par-5 17th to set up a birdie, he recounted. The fans were screaming for me as I came up to the green and that was a big thrill.
In holding off Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington for the victory, Jeev secured a five- year exemption to The European Tour.
But he wasnt finished. Late last year, he went on to win the Volvo China Open, The Casio World Open in Japan and The Japan Series Tour Championship. Hes now exempt not only in Europe, but in Japan and on The Asian Tour as well.
Why the turnaround after not having won for six years?
I was too focused on winning, he explained. I put too much emphasis on results and not the process and routine.
Jeev started 2006 367th in the world and finished 37th.
Thirty-six and single, he has his sights set on America, where hell have played a dozen events by years end, including all four majors and three WGC tournaments.
Hes one of three emerging golfers from India along with Joti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal.
Atwal, by the way will, return to competition next week either at Houston or on The Nationwide Tour. The investigation into the car crash in Orlando in which the 48-year- old driver of another car was killed is still ongoing. To deflect the certain media scrutiny, Atwal will use his manager as his caddie.
Singh has no such problems. He was awarded Indias highest civilian honor, The Padma Shree, the same award his father received some 40 years ago.
Its like being knighted, Jeev said, breaking into an easy smile.
Email your thoughts to Rich Lerner
With eye on Masters, Howell wins Match Play group
AUSTIN, Texas – Charles Howell III appears to have solved his match play mystery, advancing out of pool play for the second consecutive year after failing to play the weekend his first eight trips to the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
At 65th in the Official World Golf Ranking, Howell needs to advance to Sunday’s final four to move into the top 50 in the world and earn an invitation to the Masters, which is always a primary goal for the Augusta, Ga., native.
“Knowing that I need a big week here to get through, obviously, it's massive in match play,” said Howell, who will face Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the first stage of knockout play on Saturday. “Kiradech is an awesome player. I feel like I'm the underdog, and nothing to lose, I like that.”
Howell, who began the week as the 59th-seeded player, was unbeaten in pool play, defeating Phil Mickelson on Day 1 and securing his spot in the weekend with a 2-and-1 victory over Satoshi Kodaira on Friday.
Although Saturday’s matches may have a qualifying feel for Howell, who last played the Masters in 2012, he’s also in the field for next week’s Houston Open and could earn a spot at Augusta National with a victory there.
McIlroy to rest, play Augusta after early exit at Match Play
AUSTIN, Texas – For the second consecutive year, Rory McIlroy failed to advance out of pool play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but there was a silver lining for last week’s champion.
McIlroy, who lost on Friday, 5 and 3, to Brian Harman, said he didn’t have much time to recharge following his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and having the weekend off will give him a chance to prepare for what promises to be an intense build up to this year’s Masters.
The Northern Irishman will travel to Augusta National on Wednesday for what he said will be a 54- to 72-hole, two-day practice session.
“Me and [caddie Harry Diamond] are going up, two members are hosting us, we're going to have a couple of social runs Wednesday and Thursday,” McIlroy said. “I’ll rest up a little bit, recharge the batteries, get into the gym. Sort of have a good week training and a good practice week. And just get myself ready for Augusta.”
McIlroy is listed among the favorites at the Masters, where he could complete the career Grand Slam if he were to win.
Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.
(Note: Group winners are highlighted; * equals won in playoff)
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3||Group 4|
|(1) D. Johnson: 0-2-0||(2) J. Thomas: 3-0-0||(3) J. Rahm: 0-2-1||(4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0|
|(32) K. Kisner: 1-0-1||(21) F. Molinari: 2-1-0||(28) K. Aphibarnrat: 3-0-0||(19) P. Reed: 2-0-0|
|(38) A. Hadwin: 1-0-1
||(48) P. Kizzire: 0-2-0||(43) C. Reavie: 1-1-0||(34) H. Li: 0-2-0|
|(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-1-0
||(60) L. List: 0-2-0||(63) K. Bradley: 0-1-1||(49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0|
|Group 5||Group 6||Group 7||Group 8|
|(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-1-0||(6) R. McIlroy: 1-2-0||(7) S. Garcia: 3-0-0||(8) J. Day: 1-1-0|
|(30) P. Cantlay: 1-1-0
||(18) B. Harman: 2-0-1||(20) X. Schauffele: 2-1-0||(25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-1-0|
|(46) C. Smith: 2-0-0||(44) J. Vegas: 0-2-1||(41) D. Frittelli: 0-2-0||(42) J. Dufner: 1-1-0|
|(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-2-0||(51) P. Uihlein: 2-1-0||(62) S. Sharma: 0-2-0||(56) J. Hahn: 1-1-0|
|Group 9||Group 10||Group 11||Group 12|
|(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0||(10) P. Casey: 2-1-0||(11) M. Leishman: 0-2-1||(12) T. Hatton: 2-0-0|
|(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0||(31) M. Fitzpatrick: 1-2-0||(23) B. Grace: 1-1-1||(22) C. Hoffman: 0-2-0|
|(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0||(45) K. Stanley: 1-1-0||(35) B. Watson: 2-0-1||(36) B. Steele: 1-1-0|
|(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0||(51) R. Henley: 1-1-0||(64) J. Suri: 1-1-1||(55) A. Levy: 1-1-0|
|Group 13||Group 14||Group 15||Group 16|
|(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0||(14) P. Mickelson: 2-1-0||(15) P. Perez: 0-1-1||(16) M. Kuchar: 1-0-1|
|(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0||(17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-2-0||(24) G. Woodland: 0-1-1||(27) R. Fisher: 1-1-0|
|(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0||(40) S. Kodaira: 0-3-0||(37) W. Simpson: 1-0-1||(47) Y. Ikeda: 1-1-0|
|(61) K. Na: 0-2-0||(59) C. Howell III: 3-0-0||(50) S.W. Kim: 1-0-1||(54) Z. Johnson: 0-1-1|
Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 3
Here is how things played out on Day 3 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 2 match results:
Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Kevin Kisner (32)
Group 1: Adam Hadwin (38) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)
Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) def. Francesco Molinari (21), 7 and 5: Looking like the man to beat, Thomas put Molinari in an early 3-down hole and kept applying pressure, putting him away with seven birdies in one of the most lopsided results of the week – and in a battle of two unbeatens. Thomas can become world No. 1 with a victory this week.
Group 2: Patton Kizzire (48) vs. Luke List (60)
Group winner: Justin Thomas
Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) def. Jon Rahm, 4 and 3: Unbeaten through two days, Aphibarnrat put the hammer down on Rahm, last year’s finalist. Barnrat needed only three birdies to secure the group win, while Rahm dropped to 0-2-1 for the week.
Group 3: Chez Reavie (43) vs. Keegan Bradley (63), halved: With the group already decided as they played the closing stretch, Bradley coughed up a late lead for the third consecutive round, halving the match on 18 and finishing the week with a 0-1-2 record that could (and should) have been so much better.
Group winner: Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Patrick Reed (19)
Group 4: Haotong Li (34) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)
Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Patrick Cantlay (30)
Group 5: Cameron Smith (46) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)
Group 6: Brian Harman (18) def. Rory McIlroy (6), 5 and 3: Harman took advantage of McIlroy’s missed putts and uncharacteristic mistakes to build a 3-up advantage on the front nine, then cruised to a lopsided victory. At 2-0-1, Harman wins the group, while McIlroy can begin his prep for Augusta.
Group 6: Jhonattan Vegas (44) vs. Peter Uihlein (57) def. Jhonattan Vegas (44), 4 and 3: Even though Uihlein won the first two holes on his way to routing Vegas, it wasn’t enough for the former U.S. Amateur champion to advance. He finished the week 2-1.
Group winner: Brian Harman
Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) def. Xander Schauffele (20), 3 and 1: Two down with seven to play in this battle of unbeatens, Garcia birdied the 12th and 13th holes to square the match, then pulled ahead with a pair of birdies on 15 and 16 and a conceded birdie on 17, after Schauffele tugged his tee shot into the hazard.
Group 7: Dylan Frittelli (41) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)
Group winner: Sergio Garcia
Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Louis Oosthuizen (25)
Group 8: Jason Dufner (42) vs. James Hahn (56)
Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) vs. Daniel Berger (26)
Group 9: Kevin Chappell (33) vs. Ian Poulter (58)
Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) def. Paul Casey (10), 3 and 2: After looking unstoppable over the first two days of pool play, Casey never led against his fellow Englishman, going 3 down after five holes. It was Fitzpatrick’s first point of the week.
Group 10: Kyle Stanley (45) def. Russell Henley (51), 1 up: Stanley flipped an early 2-down deficit and rolled in a 10-footer birdie putt on the final hole to beat Henley and earn a full point to force the sudden-death playoff with Casey.
Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Branden Grace (23), halved: Already eliminated, Leishman kept Grace from reaching the pool-play playoff by never trailing in the match. Though the South African holed a 25-footer on 17 to extend it, both players halved the 18th hole with birdies, including a 6-footer from Leishman, to earn a half-point.
Group 11: Bubba Watson (35) vs. Julian Suri (64), halved: Needing just a half-point to advance, but two down with two to go, Bubba stuffed his tee shot on 17, then hit his driver pin-high on the home hole. After Suri couldn’t get up-and-down for birdie, Watson sank his 8-footer for the halve. It's the second consecutive year in which Watson has won his group.
Group winner: Bubba Watson
Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Charley Hoffman (22)
Group 12: Brendan Steele (36) vs. Alexander Levy (55)
Group 13: Alex Noren (13) vs. Tony Finau (29)
Group 13: Thomas Pieters (39) vs. Kevin Na (61)
Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) def. Rafa Cabrera Bello (17), 1 up: Mickelson needed help to advance, but he took care of Cabrera Bello, making birdie on the last two holes to edge the Spaniard. The group was already decided, however, with Howell closing out his match while the other group played the 18th hole.
Group 14: Charles Howell III (59) def. Satoshi Kodaira (40), 2 and 1: Needing just a halve to advance, Howell won the 14th and 16th holes with par to gain a 2-up advantage and complete a perfect week in pool play. It’s the second year in a row that Howell has won his group.
Group winner: Charles Howell III
Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Gary Woodland (24)
Group 15: Webb Simpson (37) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)
Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Ross Fisher (27)
Group 16: Yuta Ikeda (47) vs. Zach Johnson (54)