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Sport - Golf Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Late fightback earns Jeev best Major finish


Jeev next plays

in the BMW

Asian Open

He hopes to work his way back into the world’s top 50


— Photo: AFP

GOOD SHOW BUT… Though Jeev Milkha Singh came back well to finish joint 25th on Sunday, a return to Augusta in 2009 is not assured as he did not finish among the top 16.

Augusta: A resolute Jeev Milkha Singh fought back from a disastrous start for his best Major finish at a creditable tied 25th in the U.S. Masters but his failure to sign off among the top-16 has denied him a return ticket to the prestigious event.

The Indian shot a final-round three-over 75 on a chilly windswept day to end his campaign with a total of four-over 292, 12 strokes off the pace of winner Trevor Immelman.

Jeev was six-over after the first 10 holes at Augusta National Golf Club before showing steely resolve to hit four birdies over a five-hole stretch to salvage his round on a day when only four players broke par.

Rises in ranking

The Asian Tour number one in 2006 bettered his previous best finish at a Major, tied 36th in the U.S. Open last year. The performance has helped him climb three places to 80th in the official world rankings.

However, the Chandigarh pro was disappointed with his effort and said he could have finished higher up the leaderboard but messed up his chances by trying too hard.

“I am really disappointed. I came back pretty strongly on the back nine and left a few out there. I tried but I made too many mistakes on the front nine.”

Jeev converted a 15-foot birdie on the 16th hole and trickled in his fifth birdie of the round from 12 feet on the 17th, only to hit a bogey on the last after a blocked drive clipped a tree, missing a six foot par save.

“After 10, I said I had nothing to lose. That was the attitude and I came back strongly. The last hole left a sour taste in the mouth. But the 14th was fantastic, it was a great feeling. That hole has always got me and I got it today,” said Jeev.

Taking a break

The Indian, who has two runner-up finishes on the Asian Tour this season, will take the next week off before heading to Shanghai for the BMW Asian Open.

He will also play an event in Japan before returning to Europe with the aim of working his way back into the world’s top-50. “You learn a lot every time you play here. I’m mentally tired. Every hole takes a lot out of you. I’m taking the week off, refresh myself and start all over again,” said Jeev.

“I will go back to Asia before returning to Europe . I want to try to move back into the top-50 in the world and try to get back here for the U.S. Open (in June),” he added. — PTI

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