Singh set to play through pain in Dubai

Tue 16 Dec 2014

Singh set to play through pain in Dubai

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Dubai, December 16: Indian golf legend Jeev Milkha Singh is prepared to play through pain as he seeks to end his year on a high note at the inaugural Dubai Open which starts on Thursday.
The two-time Asian Tour number one is returning from an enforced three-week break after having a cortisone jab into his right shoulder but Singh, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Monday, admitted the treatment has failed to alleviate the pain.
“There’s still pain, so I don't know whether the shot has worked or not. The doctor says it hasn't because you should have no pain after two weeks,” said Singh today. “But I'm here and I'm going to enjoy this week.”
Singh paid tribute to the Asian Tour and event promoter and organiser golf in DUBAi for launching the newest US$500,000 tournament on the region’s premier Tour, which is also the final tournament of the 2014 season.
Tommy Fleetwood of England Tommy Fleetwood of England
Top Asian Tour stars including Prom Meesawat and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Filipino Angelo Que and India’s Rashid Khan, all ranked in the top-10 of the Order of Merit, will tee up at the immaculate The Els Club Dubai in search of the inaugural Dubai Open trophy which was unveiled today by golf in DUBAi Vice Chairman and CEO Mohamed Juma Bumaim and Dubai Sports City Presiddent Khalid Al Zarooni.
Former British Open champion Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who needs a lone 16th place or better finish in Dubai to qualify for the Masters Tournament in April, are also in the field.
“I think it's fantastic.  We love Dubai as a city. I think it's a multicultural place where the golf courses are fantastic. And golf has grown in this region. The field is strong this week and we are hoping this event will be a success,” said Singh, who is also a golf in DUBAi ambassador.
With his family in Dubai, Singh hopes to celebrate the week of his birthday by returning into the winner’s circle, with his last success being the 2012 Scottish Open. “We are going to have a great week. I just want to enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the game,” he said.
“Yes, I'm 21 now,” he said laughing.  “I think after 40, you don't count how old you are.  You just say you're 21.  That's the way I feel.”
Fleetwood will be on a mission to break into the world’s top-50 in what is the final counting event on the Official World Golf Ranking. Following a commendable fourth place finish in Thailand on Sunday, he rose to 52nd in the world and another good result in Dubai will see him tee up at Augusta National for the year’s first Major.
“I actually went to the Masters to watch this year. It would be great if I could - obviously having to watch it the year before - if I could be playing there next year .... it would be really good.  It's obviously a massive target.  So hopefully this week can secure it,” said the 23-year-old, who holds one victory on the European Tour.
“This is the last event of the whole year of any tour. So I just need a good result. It's keeping me occupied trying to get into that top-50. It would be great to do it this week.”
Fleetwood hopes the experience of playing the weekend rounds with eventual Thailand Golf Championship winner Lee Westwood would help in his burgeoning career.
“We actually became quite good friends this year. I think just the way he went about it on Sunday ... he bogeyed the first two holes and at that point you think that's it, you would do well to finish top five but he just got on a run,” said Fleetwood.
“He seemed to stay so calm, and especially the way he came down the stretch, 16, 17, 18, he played the holes really well and I think that's just stuff that you can't go on the practice ground and practise it. It's just invaluable lessons you can learn off a guy like that. He's won 41 tournaments around the world or something like that and just watching him do it is massive experience and not many people get to see that.”
A total of 23 MENA Golf Tour players will also feature in the 114-man field this week which includes England’s Joshua White and Zane Scotland and the region’s home players led by Ahmed Marjane Faycal Serghini and Younes El Hassani of Morocco.
The Dubai Open is promoted and organised by golf in DUBAi.
The Els Club Dubai is situated within the sprawling Dubai Sports City where the par-72 course combines links style golf with traditional 'classical era' design. Opened for play in 2008, the course stretches 7,538 yards and was named as ‘Best New International Course’ by prestigious US magazine, Links, and “Best New Facility of the Year” by Troon Golf.
About the Asian Tour
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 Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.