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.
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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.
Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.
“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”
The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.
Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.
“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”
TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:
• THAT WAS AWESOME!
At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.
• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.
• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.
• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.
• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.
• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.
• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.
• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”
Yes, yes it is.
Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open
It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.
Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:
Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.
Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3
Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.
Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.
No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.
No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.
No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.
No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.
No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.
And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.
Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.
Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.