Singh hopes for Olympic chance
Jeev Milkha Singh has spelt out the importance to him on why golf should be part of the Olympics.
Jeev Milkha Singh, joint leader going into today’s third round at the European Open, has spelt out the importance of the coming vote on whether golf should be part of the Olympics.
“I think it will be the best thing to happen for India,” said Singh, eight under par with France’s Michael Lorenzo-Vera after two rounds at the London Club in Kent.
“Golf not being an Olympic sport we have not been getting any funding from the government.
“Hopefully in October it does and I think what happens after that is the government is going to allocate land in each and every city to have a public driving range so that a normal human being can go there and try a hand at it.
“That’s when it’s going to be really big in our country. It’s the fastest-growing sport in our country, but it’s the only way this game is going to get famous and close to cricket.
“Our population is more than a billion and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of talent out there. I don’t think there’s a public driving range in our country and there’s only one public golf course right now. Everything is private.
“I remember there were a lot of good players when I was growing up who just didn’t take it up – they just went back to the parents’ business.”
Singh, currently 39th in the world, has won twice in Europe and all around Asia, but he is still not even the most famous member of his family in his homeland.
Father Milkha Singh was a running star known as “The Flying Sikh” who briefly held the 400 metres world record and then worked with the government to promote sport.
Singh added: “He always jokes with me, especially at airports and train stations when most guys come and take an autograph from him and he will say ‘This is my son Jeev – he plays golf’.
“He’s gone through his share of tough times. He came from a very poor family and during the Partition between India and Pakistan his parents died.”
“After reaching India in cross-border trains carrying refugees his brother got him into the army and it was there his running talent was spotted.
“He always emphasises ‘discipline. I still remember his words ‘discipline, hard work and be honest in your practice’.”
Singh, with a swing all of his own, will never have a more remarkable win than the one he had in Japan last December.
His wife Kudrat was five months pregnant, but the baby boy died and was stillborn on the eve of the tournament. His wife urged him to play, however, and after starting with a 64 he won by two.
Two years ago Singh became the first Indian to compete in The Masters. He has played at Augusta three times now and with a fourth-placed finish in the CA world championship in Miami in March has his sights on winning in America.
For the time being, though, the European Open will do nicely. That and a successful bid to the International Olympic Committee.
Steve Stricker makes Padraig Harrington sweat as Irishman wins US Senior Open
The pair were rival captains in last year’s Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.