home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 8, 2006

Jeev Milkha Singh


CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have Jeev Milkha Singh, thank you for joining us at the HSBC Champions. Let's start by talking about your great win at the Volvo Masters, are you still on a high after a couple of weeks now?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Yes, I was pretty excited about my win. Obviously playing the flagship tournament end of the year in Europe and winning it, it gives a player a lot of confidence and I think a lot of satisfaction, too, in fact, to win such a big event at such a wonderful golf course, too.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Another big week here at the HSBC Champions, and you're playing tomorrow with Tiger Woods and Paul Casey. Talk about your expectations.

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I'm obviously really excited to be paired with Tiger. It's going to be the first time for me that I'm going to be playing with him, and hopefully I'm going to learn something from him and I want to see how he manages the golf course.

It's going to be an exciting day. I look forward to such a day, and hopefully, learn from him and see how he conducts himself on the golf course, too, and how he manages himself.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: There are a lot of World Ranking points here at the HSBC Champions, will it be your goal to try to break into the Top 50 in the world maybe?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: It is, but it's not the only week I have. I'm going to go out there and try to follow my routine and process, and try to give the best performance. If it happens, I'll be very happy. If it doesn't, I've got another week, the Hong Kong Open next week, and I'm just going to keep trying my best.

Q. We are not very familiar with the golf development and golf in general in India. Can you talk a little about professional golf there?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Yes, I think golf as a game is the No. 2 sport in our country now, after cricket. We have a lot of talent in our country. We've got close to about 180 professional golfers. We have an Indian tour, which has close to 15 tournaments, 15 to 20 tournaments a year, and normally the tournaments start September until April. The average purse in India, the domestic tour the players play for is close to about $50,000 a week and going up. We've got about 15 good professionals playing on the worldwide circuit. We've got close to about ten professionals on the Asian Tour. We've got Jyoti Randhawa and Shiv Kapur, who plays on the Asian Tour and European both, and Arjun Atwal on the US Tour and so we've got a lot of talent. There's a lot of potential, also, in our country for the golf to go big. And hopefully in the coming years we can have such opportunities in our country, too, like China is hosting such big events.

Q. Can you compare the development of golf in China and India, do you see much similarity?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Yes, there is a lot of similarity. I think obviously China has bigger prize money tournaments. But what I see in India, we've got a lot more professional golfers than in China, that's my personal feeling. I think that they are in China making a lot of progress in getting a lot more professional golfers involved. I've heard from Liang Wen-chong that they have a domestic tour sponsored by Omega and it's an excellent tour. I think that's fantastic. That's going to be a great thing for the professional golfers to turn pro on the domestic tour and then move on to the bigger tours.

Otherwise, professionals who play just two, three events a year on the Asian Tour are going to get disheartened; where if you have a domestic tournament, you can play 15 to 20 tournaments and you can go on to the bigger tours.

Q. You played and won in Beijing this year, and can you compare this with the golf course in Beijing, Honghua International, and what do you think of the Sheshan golf course and what's your biggest impression about this golf course?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Compared to which golf course?

Q. Honghua in Beijing.

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Compared to this golf course, I think both courses are great layouts, especially this one is excellent because it's very well manicured. Whereas when we played the Volvo China Open, it was a great layout also, but it was not very well manicured; reason being we were just coming out of winter, so they could not get the course ready.

I think the courses in China are excellent, very well manicured, very well designed, and especially this week is going to be very exciting because the greens are firm and you can have some tough pin positions on this golf course. And also if you are approaching from a side which is the wrong side, I think it would be very difficult for a player to stop the ball on the flag.

Q. What are your impressions of the HSBC Champions tournament this time?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think it's excellent because HSBC and all of the tournaments that are held worldwide are held in a very professional manner and at some of the best venues in the world. Also, the way the golf course is set up and the way the players are taken care of, it's excellent.

Q. You're playing with Tiger tomorrow; do you consider that as a reward for the hard work you've put in this year or a punishment?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think it's a reward that I am playing with Tiger I think with the performance I've had this year. I'm pretty excited. Like I said earlier, it's going to be an experience for me, so that I can learn from the best player in the world how he manages himself on the golf course. And I have a lot of respect for him because I think he's done a lot for the game of golf worldwide.

Q. To follow up on Tiger, do you know him personally? Have you played with him socially before or a practice round?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I've never played a practice round with him, but I've met him obviously in the locker room, we say hi to each other and I see him on the putting green, yes.

Q. On the state of Asian golf in general, your win recently, K.J. Choi's win, there seems to be a lot of momentum. Can you compare the state of Asian golf on an international scale now with say, maybe ten years ago, and where you expect Asian golf to be in another ten years?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think ten years ago, I think Asian golf is nowhere near what it is today. I personally feel that there is a lot of talent in the Asian golfers. The only thing that is lacking is I think players are a little shy to try the bigger tours. But I feel that if they do try, and they hang around and play the bigger tours, they are going to prove themselves on those tours, and they are good enough to prove themselves.

Coming to the next question you asked about ten years from now, I feel that there should be Asian players playing the big tours and winning on the big stage.

Q. What are the factors do you think will further raise the Asian profile on the world stage?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think obviously the players playing well on the world stage, and obviously having big events like these ones in Asia, and the Asian players with rub shoulders with the top players in the world and learn from them and work hard on their game and take it on.

Q. This tournament, the sponsors have billed it as Asia's major. I wonder your thoughts, is that a fitting title for this tournament?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think it's one of the biggest championships in Asia for sure. But I feel that it's like a tournament of champions. I think players coming from every tour in the world nearly, and mostly all are champions, I think 95 per cent of the players. I think it's the crème of the world, basically, playing here.

Q. Congratulations on your wins in the Volvo China Open and Volvo Masters. It seems like you're quite serious when you are playing golf and only have a big smile after you pick up the trophy. Can you share an interesting story of your experience in China, more humour or interesting story?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Basically when I'm playing a tournament, especially when you are in the lead, you are really focused. When you want to keep your focus, I'm not going to be smiling. I'm going to be focusing on my golf shot and trying to follow my process and routine. So I'm not thinking about anything else except the process and routine and when I finish obviously and if I win, obviously the smile comes back on my face.

Q. You are in the running for the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown, how important is it going to be for your career, and how upset are you that you missed the Top 15 spot on The European Tour Order of Merit by about €7,000?

JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I am; the first question, I am obviously very excited I'm leading the Asian Order of Merit. I would obviously like to win it. But I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself if I do or if I don't. I'm going to basically go out there and I'm going to try. If it happens, I'll be happy and will be satisfied that I had a great year on the Asian Tour and I could take the crown. But if it doesn't happen, I've got another year and I'm happy.

Going to the next question, the Volvo Masters obviously was an excellent win for me. I didn't play too much in Europe, but I obviously missed out by €7,000 from being a Top 15 player on The European Tour; that would have got me into most of the majors worldwide. A little disappointed about that obviously. But I think the Volvo Masters win makes up for it, and I'll obviously try to get into the majors next year some other way, try to get into the Top 50 in the world.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Jeev, many thanks for coming in, and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297