Jeev targets top-50

Having found his groove with a tied-10th place finish in the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this month, ace Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh said he intends to use the momentum to break into the top-50 of world rankings by June.

“The major goal is get back to within top-50 in world rankings,” said Jeev on the sidelines of Callaway X Hot Challenge event at the Prestige Golfshire here on Thursday. “If I stay injury free, I’m really confident that I should achieve that goal as I’m hitting the ball a lot better and I feel I’m good enough to be within the top-50.

“The reason why I want to be within top-50 is because I want to play in all the four majors and the only way possible is stay within the top-50. If don’t play a major championship, I won’t be able to win one! I’m currently ranked 95th in the world, the same since I won the Scottish Open last year. I could have gone up but I couldn’t play as many tournaments as I desired because of the finger injury which cost me nearly 2-1/2 months,” added the four-time European Tour winner.

Aiming to reach his goal by June which will help him play at least the final three majors, Jeev said his primary focus will be the European Tour.

“I’m planning to play 35 weeks this year; the first half is pretty slow but have a packed second half. During summer time I will be playing the European Tour and September-October I will play in Japan which will be in full swing during that period.”

Despite being the leading light of Indian golf, Jeev hasn’t been seen in the country’s premier event -- the Indian Open --  during the last two editions. When asked if he intends to play this year, the 41-year-old remained non-committal. “The only reason I couldn’t play the Indian Open last year was because my membership with the Japanese Tour was at stake. If I don’t play a certain number of events in a year, I get chucked out. The big problem is the Indian Open clashes with the Japanese Tour, and I need to figure out a way where I would have played adequate number of events in Japan so that I can play in the Indian Open. Japan Tour is big for me and if I don’t retain my card it would be a major setback.”

Jeev, who was in title contention at the Dubai Desert Classic until the start of the final round, felt the injury on the index finger of his right hand is healing well and hoped it wouldn’t bother him as the season progressed. “It’s 80 per cent healed and getting better. I had a bruised bone and the ligaments gave up. The doctors advised me four months’ rest which is impossible with me. I said I’ll keep playing and if it gets bad then I’ll take some rest. The problem is the doctor can’t guarantee the rest will heal the injury completely. What if I hit a shot and it tears yet again? So I decided to keep playing and so far it hasn’t affected me in a big way.”

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