In the 25th year of his professional career, seasoned Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh says he feels good enough to continue for another decade at least.
Jeev, who will be taking part in a tournament in his home city Chandigarh after more than six years, said he is in no mood to quit a sport which has given and taught him a lot in his life.
“I have been a professional for the last 25 years, this is my 25th year, I turned pro in July 1993. I want to keep playing for another 10 years,” the 45-year-old Jeev, son of legendary athlete Milkha Singh, told PTI here.
Jeev is taking part in second edition of Take Open Golf championship, which will be played here from October 12-15.
Jyoti Randhawa and other leading Indian players, including Rashid Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Shubhankar Sharma, Khalin Joshi and Chiragh Kumar, will also vie for the prize money of Rs one crore on offer.
Jeev’s seven-year-old son Harjai Milkha Singh will be watching his father play in a tournament in Chandigarh for the first time.
“I think you should never forget where you started off, especially in a sport like golf, it’s a game which teaches you to be humble, one week you are the best and next week you are nobody,” the ace golfer, who has won 14 titles at the international level, said.
“Playing golf here during my early days gave me an opportunity to follow my dream, my dream was to do well at the world stage and I have done that and I am hopefully going to do that more,” he said.
When asked to reflect on his journey so far, Jeev said, “I think I am a very fortunate human being, I have made a living out of what I love doing, I think not many people do that. This game has given me a lot.
“You have times when you don’t like it, but that is part of life. Everything is not only good all the time. The game has taught me to be humble, give back and also it has taught me a lot of things,” he said.
Asked to share his best memories of the career so far, Jeev said, “as professional athletes, we relate to good moments, like the Scottish Open in 2012, Volvo Masters in 2006, Singapore Open 2008, those were quite a few big tournaments. Those kind of memories always stay with you.”
Jeev also expressed happiness at the way Indian golf has grown over the past few years.
“I think golf has really grown in the country over the past few years for the better. PGTI has produced a lot of good players, we have got an amazing domestic circuit, which is the PGTI. The youngsters are hungry, they have a lot of knowledge now, they want to play on the big stage.
Praising Union recently-appointed sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Jeev said, “we have got a good sports minister in place, he understands things and I think he is going to streamline everything for every sport in our country.
“He will have the right people in place so that right guidance is given to the players and to develop the game”.
Jeev said he would taking the next week off to be with his family for Diwali.
“After that I am going to play Indonesian Open, then I will play Panasonic Delhi, after that Resorts World Masters at Phillipnes, then I take a week off and then I play Hong Kong Open, Mauritius Open, Thailand and Indonesian Masters. The schedule is packed,” he said.