Singh and Atwal seek revival in Macau

Tue 15 Oct 2013

Singh and Atwal seek revival in Macau

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Macau, October 15: Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh is determined to bounce back from his latest career dip with a strong showing at the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open which starts on Thursday.
The double Asian Tour number one is amongst an elite cast assembled at the challenging Macau Golf and Country Club which includes four-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa, Thai stars Thaworn Wiratchant and Thongchai Jaidee, Indian duo Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal and Chinese ace Liang Wen-chong, all former Order of Merit champions.
Australian Scott Hend, a two-time winner this season and currently second on the rankings, and title holder Gaganjeet Bhullar of India will also headline what is the strongest field at the Venetian Macau Open.
Arjun Atwal of India Arjun Atwal of India
The tenacious Singh, whose father Milkha was a famous Olympic runner, has missed 10 cuts in his last 11 tournaments in Europe but he hopes a return onto the Asian Tour, where he is a six-time champion, will spark a turnaround in fortune.
“I’ve gone through this phase before and if you keep believing in yourself, things will turn,” said Singh, who finished fourth in Macau two years ago. “I’ve gone through ups and downs throughout my career but I’ve always come out as a winner. I’m just going to hang in there again.”
A niggling right index finger injury has proven to be a bane for Singh this season, which has seen him fall out of the world’s top-100. With seven other wins in Europe and Japan in his illustrious career, Singh believes he can return into the world’s top-50 and dreams of winning a Major championship.
“Before my career is over, I would like to win a Major. I believe I have the game. If I hang in there, put myself in the right position, and the right position would be the top-50 to get into the Majors, I think I have a fighting chance,” said Singh.
“Honestly, I love this game. I love the pressure, I love the competition, that’s what keeps me going. I love winning. I’ve got 21 wins worldwide. I just love winning, it’s a great feeling. If there wasn’t pressure, I’ll be bored of this game and you’ll be complacent.”
With his family with him this week at The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel, Singh is confident of stringing together four solid rounds to contend for a seventh Asian Tour victory.
“The last time I came here two years ago, I finished fourth. I love this golf course, it’s windy, amazing views and lovely restaurants to eat at during the evenings. There’s a lot of buzz in the city. I’m staying at The Venetian Macao and it’s a fantastic place. I hope to make the most out of the week,” he said.
Like Singh, countryman Atwal has also endured a wretched year due to injuries. Atwal, the 2003 Asian Tour number one and the first Indian winner on the PGA Tour, hopes the feel-good vibes in Macau will help him launch a revival.
Jonathan Moore of the USA Jonathan Moore of the USA
“I think I last played in Macau in 2003 and I remember I played well and maybe finished third and had a chance to win on Sunday. I’ve got good memories of Macau,” said Atwal.  “You have to drive it good. It gets pretty windy out there and it’s a tight golf course. You have to hit a lot of fairways and like most golf courses, make putts to have a chance.
“I won’t say I’m fully recovered. My lower back gets tight once in a while so we’ll see. I haven’t played much the past seven weeks. I don’t have any goals this week. I just want to see where I’m at with my game. I want to see if I can finish all 18 holes every day.”
With the Asian Tour celebrating its milestone 10th season this year, Atwal said the region’s premier Tour had provided the foundation for him and other Indians to build their careers. Atwal enjoyed the honour of becoming Asia’s first million-dollar career earner in 2003.
“It means everything. This was where we started …. Jeev, myself, Jyoti. It gave us the opportunity at the right time when we were young to learn how to do everything in golf – make cuts, travel around Asia,” said Atwal.
A return to the Venetian Macau Open brings back happy memories for American Jonathan Moore, who closed with a 65 last year to finish second behind Bhullar. With a recent run of missed cuts, Moore hopes to buck the trend.
“This week kind of kick-started everything for me last year,” said Moore, who finished seventh on the 2012 Order of Merit.
“I remember I birdied the last five holes. To do it in a tournament in the final round was something special.  The greens, to me, are some of the best we putt on all year, the fastest greens maybe that we putt on. Putting is always a strength of mine. If I feel like I can stroke the ball and look up and it’s going where I like it to, I think I can get some good scores up.”
Jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG. Following a successful foray into the world of golf last year, The Venetian Macao has returned as title sponsor of the event for a second successive year.
Players tee off on the 17th hole Players tee off on the 17th hole
The Venetian Macau Open will once again be a free entry event for golf fans from around the world to enjoy live world class professional golf in one of the best loved destinations for leisure and business travel in Asia.
Since its inauguration in 1998, the tournament has been graced by the presence of some of the best golfers the world has ever seen, including Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara. This year’s event boasts a total prize fund of US$800,000, an increase of 6.7% compared to last year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian Macao in support of the tournament include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macau, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera, Twinwoods Wine  and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.
For more details on the Venetian Macau Open, please visit www.thevenetianmacauopen.com
About Macau Sport Development Board of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government
Macau Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macau SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macau, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macau Sport Development Board organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macau, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macau.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
The Golf Association of Macau is the governing body of golf in Macau and promotes the sport across all levels with the city. It is the co-organiser and official sanctioning body of the Venetian Macau Open.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Cotai Strip Resorts Macao – Macao’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao has transformed a gaming-centric day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with 600 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, gaming excitement, transportation offerings and well over 100 dining options, including international restaurants, bars and lounges. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is a must-see destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of the The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach.
Cotai Strip Resorts Macao….truly Macao Starts Here™. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.com/.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Subway Restaurants (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, China, Brazil and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.